Wednesday, 11 March 2009

Test your memory - call the council!


Picture caption: Councillor Brett gets to work answering calls on the council's new memorable general enquiry number.

People wanting to call Leeds City Council will now find it easier with the launch of a new memorable telephone number.

Residents can now simply call 0113 222 4444 when they have a general enquiry and are unsure which service they need to contact.

The new number follows an overhaul last year of some of the council’s telephone numbering to introduce numbers which people will find easy to remember and that help people reach services quickly and directly.

Councillor Richard Brett, joint leader of Leeds City Council and executive member with responsibility for customer services, said:
“The size of a council such as Leeds can make it very difficult for people to know exactly who they need to speak to.

“We listened to people’s views about how they prefer to contact us and moved away from 0845 numbers to easy to remember 0113 numbers. The feedback from this move has been very positive and we hope the new memorable number will be just as popular.

“We have a great customer services contact centre with dedicated and professional staff who work hard to provide the people of Leeds with the excellent service they need. Our new contact numbers demonstrate just how important we think it is that people can reach us quickly and easily.”

The council is now starting an information campaign to ensure everyone is aware of the memorable number and the new direct service numbers. Information will be available at council buildings and on the council’s website www.leeds.gov.uk. Radio advertising began on the 11 March for eight days.

The council’s new A to Z guide to council services, which will include the new telephone numbers will also be posted to all residents with their council tax bills and will be available to pick up at council buildings from the 18 March.

The council’s award-winning customer services call centre deals with over 1.5 million enquiries a year from residents. It was opened in 2006 by the late Jane Tomlinson and former council joint leader, Cllr Mark Harris, whose vision was to modernise and streamline the council’s customer services function using the latest available technology.

The contact centre now handles over 50,000 calls a week. Since the centre opened it has resolved over 80% of customer enquires at first point of contact and now handles over 85% of public telephone calls to the council.

Information on all contact numbers for the council can also be found on the Leeds City Council website at www.leeds.gov.uk/atoz

Notes to Editors:

The new general number, 0113 222 4444 is one of a range of numbers which were introduced in November last year. These are as follows:

Adult Social Care – 0113 2224401
Anti-Social Behaviour – 0113 2224402
Children and Young People’s Social Care – 0113 2224403
Council Tax and Benefits – 0113 2224404
Customer Relations – 0113 2224405
Environmental Services – 0113 2224406
Highways – 0113 2224407
Registrars (for births, deaths, marriages) – 0113 2224408
Planning – 0113 2224409
Minicom – 0113 2224410
Electoral Services – 0113 2224411
Housing Options (formerly homeless advice and prevention) – 0113 2224412
Council Housing (registration, bids and enquiries) – 0113 2224413



ENDS

For media enquiries please contact:
Sara Hyman, Leeds City Council Press Office 0113 224 3335
email sara.hyman@leeds.gov.uk