Allerdale Borough Council has put into action its plan to help delay the spread of coronavirus, and manage the potential impacts of the effects of the virus on council services.
The measures reflect the advice provided by the government and Public Health England who are coordinating efforts to tackle the spread of the virus.
To limit the risk of cross-infection, the council is encouraging customers – especially those who are sick or vulnerable – to avoid using its customer service centres where possible, and instead to make use of the digital services available to them.
The council’s website, www.allerdale.gov.uk, is open 24/7 and the “Report It” forms allow customers to let the council know about issues at a time which is convenient for them.
Customers can also use the website to check when their next waste collection is due and report a missed collection, as well as to check planning applications in the local area and submit an application themselves.
Payments can also be made online or via the council’s automated payment line 0303 123 1702. The easiest way for customers to pay their council tax bill is by setting up a direct debit. This can be done online at www.allerdale.gov.uk/directdebit .
Customers can also use the website to check their eligibility for housing and council tax benefits online, as well as access their benefit account. Just go to www.allerdale.gov.uk/en/benefits/ and follow the links. This service is also available for landlords with tenants on housing benefit.
By downloading the myAllerdale app customers can also have many of these services available to them in one place. The app is compatible with Apple and Android phones, and customers should just search for ‘Allerdale’ on their app store and then register for an account.
If customers do need to contact a customer service advisor they can use the web-chat service – just look for the icon in the bottom right-hand corner of the screen on the council’s website. Customers can also ring 0303 123 1702 to speak to someone.
The council is also implementing changes to its working practices. These include support for council officers so that they can work from home where possible, and the use of teleconference technology to avoid face-to-face meetings. Staff will also make contact with anyone who they have to visit to check no-one working or living at the property is showing signs of infection.
The council is constantly reviewing the situation to ensure it is doing everything it can to protect its customers, employees and Members from the risk of infection, as well as manage the impact of the effects of the virus on its people and services.