Will we soon be … ‘hanging on the telephone?’

In its herculean efforts to plug a £2.8m black hole in its finances “Your Waverley’ is leaving no stone unturned in its search for ways of making savings.

So in future – rather than having friendly Brenda/Bertha or Bert saying a cheery ‘Waverley Borough Council, Good morning how can I help you? We may be met by Press 1 for…? Or Press 110 for…?

When the idea was posed to members of Waverley’s Overview and Scrutiny Committee recently, councillors didn’t exactly fall over each other in the rush to support the idea.

 Councillor Stephen Mulliner  said his golf club had introduced an automated telephone system  with only seven numbers, ‘and some of us are losing the will to live.’

Officers explained, if changes were implemented under the new Strategic Strategy direction  promoted by consultants  Cratus – a group of consultants working for a London borough,  now  nicknamed Cretinus by  Waverley councillors underwhelmed by its suggestions,  it would take a lot of thought.

He said there were  110 different services within Waverley, but only four or five areas fielded most of the calls. ‘So we are working on it.’ But our total staff savings, by dispensing with four posts,  could be between £75/125,000 a year.

When concerns were expressed by Councillor Jerry Hyman that changes in technology could cause a few problems for Waverley’s older residents, Councillor Mulliner said that ‘only time would take care of that, but I do admit we have a problem in communicating with some of our more elderly residents.’


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