£200k for telephone system at Arun Distric Council as more services go online

Monday, 28 March 2022 15:44

By Jessica Hubbard - Local Democracy Reporter

A new telephone system has been approved by councillors.

Arun District Council’s corporate support committee approved £200,000 for the replacement system on Thursday (25 March). Members heard how the current system, which deals with approximately 174,000 calls a year, was at the ‘end of its life’.

It comes as the council embraces a new ‘digital strategy’ with more and more services becoming available online.

Parts of this were accelerated during the pandemic, when council offices were closed. ADC is increasingly moving to ‘cloud-based’ systems which give its staff remote access – something that is increasingly important as home working becomes more commonplace.

This includes the housing system, although the project budget has doubled from £600,000 to more than £1.2 million since it was approved.
Mike Clayden (Con, Angmering and Findon) wanted to know if the phone system would ‘evolve’ with the council rather than having to be replaced again in four years time.

James Saunders, ADC’s ICT Manager, said this would be the case.

Francis Oppler (LDem, Orchard) said: “£200,000 is an awful lot of money in these very stricken times, so what would happen if we left it another 18 months?”

Mr Saunders said this was not an option as support for the system had ‘not been reliable’ leaving the council with ‘no choice but to update’.

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