We want to make our online services so easy for people to use, that they are naturally the way they choose to contact us. This is why we are working hard to improve these services.
What do we mean by online services?
Do you read the news on your phone on the way to work? Or log in to Facebook on your iPad whilst watching TV? Perhaps you order your shopping online from your home computer? If so, you are using digital (or online) services.
This way of doing things or accessing information also includes video calls (such as Skype or Facetime), using the 'Cloud' to store information (most email accounts like Gmail are stored in the cloud), or paying for things using a bank card.
Why do we want to do more online as a council?
We know online services are a reality for more and more people, and we want to keep pace with this change. We believe that online services can improve customer service - for example, contacting the council is quicker and cheaper for most people by using the internet. There is no need to stand in a queue or have to wait 'on hold' on the phone. In fact, as our website is available 24/7, you can do business wherever, and whenever it suits - whether you use your PC, smartphone or tablet.
And we can offer a more efficient service this way - as online forms request all the information we need first time, reducing the need for follow up queries. In addition, many of our services can be tracked online - to save you having to make follow-up calls. By helping us do things online, we can make sure we focus on resolving your query, rather than on administration.
Indeed, as councils face greater demand and reduced budgets - it's even more important that we move services online. It's cheaper and more efficient to do so, and we can spend this money on delivering vital services, like social care.
What about people who can't access the internet?
However, we do know that many people in the city still don't have access to the internet - either because they don't have access to a computer, or an online connection, or because they aren't sure how to use online services.
Which is why we are offering help to get online. Just get in touch with us by calling 0191 277 4100 or visiting www.getonlinenewcastle.co.uk. This website lists all of the locations across the city where people can get access to computers and the internet, or digital skills and training - all for free!
In addition, if you'd like to start making payments online but need advice about setting up a bank account - visit our website to access our basic bank account toolkit or get in touch with our Money Matters team on 0191 277 1050 between 9.30am and 11.30am Monday - Friday (excluding Wednesdays).
But is it safe?
You can rest assured that we put in place the highest levels of online checks, to make sure any information you share with us online is kept safe.
So what's stopping you - 'Save time, do it online'