IslingtonTribune

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Islington Council must remember that not everyone can go online

01 September, 2017

• ISLINGTON Council, please feel ashamed of yourselves for not considering all the residents that pay your wages.

In another cost-cutting exercise, it “is changing the way people access our services. Every council tax payer needs to sign up for eBilling to manage council tax bills now! With eBilling instead of a paper bill, we will send you an email when there is something to view online.”

Does the council not realise that there are elderly, disabled and able-bodied residents who can’t or don’t want to use a PC or tablet, or are even able to afford them (unless it is proposing to supply them to every household?). We may well be in the 21st century, but this doesn’t mean that everything has to be online.

When we are asked for proof of ID, a council tax bill is normally a requirement, so those that have access to online services must use their own resources to print them. Some companies will only accept originals, not home-printed copies.

For many years at local council meetings I have stressed that not everyone has internet access to get information, and would prefer printed information, together with phone numbers.

At a recent meeting, where important housing matters were being discussed, we were told full details were online. The excuse time and time again by the council is that people can get computer training – some do not want this or are able to do this – or use the library facilities. That is when they are open of course and with very few terminals.

The council’s notification is not a request, it is an order, and there is no way you can expect people to pay money to you and have no proof of anything paid unless you are online.

Please immediately reverse this decision, and at the same time, before even contemplating telling people to use your website, make it more user-friendly and easy to find things. Perhaps look at the Havering website. This is for everyone and easy to navigate and find the services you require.

MARTIN RUTHERFORD
Popham 1 estate, N1

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