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Yarmouth customer services improving

PUBLISHED: 13:43 18 April 2009 | UPDATED: 13:43 03 July 2010

CUSTOMER services at Great Yarmouth Borough Council are improving, offering better quality and easier access, according to an independent government watchdog.

CUSTOMER services at Great Yarmouth Borough Council are improving, offering better quality and easier access, according to an independent government watchdog.

Calls to the council are answered quicker with 99pc resolved at the first point of contact, while benefits and invoice payment services also continue to improve.

However, the annual audit inspection, carried out by the Audit Commission, says the council “still has to overcome many challenges to reach its aim of being a customer driven organisation”.

It points to area liaison committees which are poorly attended by members of the public and the council's slow response to freedom of information requests.

The council's focus on the environment was praised by Audit Commission following an increase in the amount of rubbish recycled in 2008. The report goes on to say, “land and highways got cleaner, there were fewer incidents of graffiti and the cost of waste collection was reduced significantly”.

Successful prosecutions of fly-tippers and the fast removal of abandoned cars were other strengths noted by the commission.

The council continues good work on preventing people from becoming homeless while it offer more energy efficient and better quality housing. A new fast-track benefit claim system has seen claims processed quicker - most within 24 hours - although less benefit overpayment was recovered in 2007/08 with more written off.

Weaknesses on reporting financial arrangements have improved after being judged inadequate in last year's report, although some errors were made in submitting this year's, something the Audit Commission says the council needs to further improve.


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