Council website offers election help

Citizens of Birmingham who may be unsure of where to vote on election day can find out where their nearest polling station is thanks to a new function on the city council website.

By simply entering their home address or postcode, a person can discover where to cast their ballot on May 6 - via the “My Local Information search function on http://www.birmingham.gov.uk/

My Local Information was initially launched last year, offering citizens details on a range of council services local to them including their nearest schools, recycling banks, museums, neighbourhood offices and libraries.

The feature has been developed using a Geographical Information Solution (GIS) which uses mapping technology to display information based on the user's chosen location.

And its flexibility means more useful options can be added in the future.

Forming part of the council's Excellence in Information Management (EIM) and Customer First Business Transformation programmes, the new website and the GIS solution have been designed as part of the plan to improve the way in which people can communicate with the authority and access its services.

Stephen Hughes, Chief Executive of Birmingham City Council and Returning Officer for the upcoming elections, said: “The vast majority of people know where they should go to vote and they are always reminded of their polling station on the ballot cards that are distributed in the run-up to an election.

“However it is possible that these cards can be misplaced or people are new to the city, which means it is useful to have other ways of finding out where they can vote.

“By adding this simple feature to the council website, we are using 21st Century technology is an effective way to provide a quick and simple service to citizens, who previously would have to call the council if they were in any doubt where to go on election day.”

Residents wanting to find their local polling station in Birmingham should visit: http://www.birmingham.gov.uk/mylocalinformation

ENDS

Notes to editors

1. Business Transformation is Birmingham City Council's ambitious nine-strand programme which aims to modernise and enhance services delivered across the whole authority to citizens. It is projected that the programme will realise benefits of around £1billion over the ten years to 2016.
2. Service Birmingham is a strategic partnership between Birmingham City Council and Capita which will support a transformation in the way the council works; improving services and contributing to its efficiency agenda. This strategic partnership forms part of the council’s objective to find better and more innovative ways of delivering services for the benefit of employees and citizens. The principle of this joint venture focuses on the provision of cost effective, sector leading, ICT services and in supporting the council in achieving its business transformation objectives.
3. Excellence in Information Management is one of nine programmes which make up Birmingham City Council's ambitious Business Transformation programme. EIM aims to improving the way that the council creates, manages and uses its wealth of information. It will remove inefficiencies and improve service delivery.
4. Customer First is one of nine programmes which make up Birmingham City Council's ambitious Business Transformation programme, and will help deliver a range of improvements giving residents world-class standards of customer service. As part of the wider package, Customer First will provide simpler and easier ways of accessing council services, a single '0121' telephone number to access all council services, a brand new user-friendly city council web site personalised for customers. Increased customer satisfaction is a key driver behind the programme.

For further information contact Kris Kowalewski on 0121 303 3621

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