Residents are being given the chance to win a brand new Apple iPad if they switch to using enhanced online services provided by Newcastle-under-Lyme Borough Council.
The Council is offering the special prize – a 10.2 inch 64GB silver model – to one lucky winner who signs up to My Account in the run-up to Christmas and correctly answers a simple quiz about its excellent digital capabilities.
Residents can complete a growing variety of tasks on their smartphone, tablet or computer at any time that suits them – 24 hours a day, seven days a week, 365 days a year – via www.newcastle-staffs.gov.uk
More than 17,000 residents currently use the Council’s easy to use and responsive new website every month to get answers to their enquiries in a convenient and efficient way.
They are able to submit and view service requests and enquiries, view recycling and waste collection days, sign up to the garden waste service, find a local councillor and much more at the click of a button.
Through My Account, additional capabilities include households being able to manage their Council Tax account by updating address and contact details, viewing their current balance, payments and bills; setting up or amending an existing direct debit and applying for reductions.
People can also switch to paperless billing – where bills are sent via e-mail instead of post – which is great for the environment.
To enter the iPad competition, new customers must register for an account and complete the short quiz by midday on Monday, 19 December.
Existing account holders can also take part. Signing up is free, really easy and normally takes less than a couple of minutes. All that is needed is an e-mail address.
Council Leader Simon Tagg, Cabinet member for One Council, People and Partnerships,
said: “The Council’s website has undergone a major transformation which has completely
revolutionised the way in which residents can manage their interactions with us. It’s designed to make life much easier by providing enhanced access to popular services at all times of the day and night, throughout the year. There is so much that residents can do already and new features are being added all the time. They can do what they want, when they want – in a fast, reliable and secure way – in the comfort of their own homes, or on the move, using a variety of different devices. It saves time, is cheap, flexible and very convenient compared to traditional contact methods such as telephone, e-mail and post which remain available if required.
“There are also environmental benefits such as in the case of paperless billing which can be organised through My Account. We want to promote that we’re now a digital council, which is constantly providing creative and innovative solutions, so that we can encourage as many residents as possible to pay, report or apply for services online. Running an iPad competition is the perfect way to achieve this.”