Parking Review: 25 November 2015
Nottingham City Council is now using specialist correspondence IT to answer representations and enquiries from motorists.
The council started using Barbour Logic’s Response Master system earlier this year. The system enabled the council to clear a backlog of around 1,200 letters and is now credited with enabling its back office team to answer twice the number of letters.
Nottingham’s processing and enforcement manager Celia Jenkins said: “Response Master has made our lives a lot easier. We respond to every part of our customers’ letters and are particular about getting things right, so we like the fact that it’s tailor-made for us.”
Each installation of the Response Master system is tailored to reflect the client local authority’s specific parking policies. Jenkins said it took just one day to configure the system’s existing 650 policy settings to the council’s requirements. Several specific policy settings were created for Nottingham, including new ones for a pedestrian ‘clear zone’ in the town centre, temporary traffic orders for line-painting operations, marathons and Royal visits.
“The team at Barbour Logic is very responsive,” she said. “We send them a request by email, and within half-a-day the new custom paragraph is up and running on the system.”
Jenkins anticipates adding new parking and enforcement activities to the system’s repertoire.
“We’re developing our Response Master system to respond to FPNs (fixed penalty notices) for environmental crimes such as graffiti, littering and dog-fouling, and looking at other areas to incorporate, such as the administration of Blue Badges and other parking permits.”
Barbour Logic’s customer service manager Matt Turner trained small groups of staff for half a day each, then stayed on site for about a week to oversee the transition and make any necessary adjustments. He still visits regularly to ensure all is running smoothly.”
Jenkins feels there is now greater consistency and clarity across the correspondence. “The system is fairer and less open to interpretation,” she said. “It brings together all the information and prompts you to tick the relevant boxes, so our decisions and letter content are consistent, whichever officer processes your case. The language is plainer than we were used to, which is probably a lot easier for the customer to understand.
“Everyone in our correspondence team likes using Response Master. It’s about offering the customer a fair, effective, quality system, with a quick response time and consistent approach.”
While Response Master is still in its early stages at Nottingham, Jenkins said it has already effectively paid for itself, since it was not necessary to replace a member of staff who left.