Capita Local Public Services has helped the London Borough of Bexley achieve its highest ever collection of council tax and business rates.
Council tax collection in 2014-15 hit an all-time high of 96.5% while 98.5% of businesses paid their business rates. It means that the London Borough of Bexley, a partner of Capita since 1996, has collected an extra £2.2 million in council tax and more than £790,000 in business rates than the previous year.
In February this year, Capita made significant improvements to the council tax page on the Council's website, making it easier to navigate, and last year it introduced a new online system to encourage residents to do more for themselves digitally. The channel shift programme, supported by Capita's software, has seen the number of Bexley residents accessing the website increase by 71% since last year.
Mark Chapman, Capita Local Public Services director, said:
"The collection rates for council tax and business rates are the best they have ever been since we began working with Bexley. One of the reasons for this is that we are offering residents more choice and ease when it comes to paying their bills."
"Not only is it more convenient for residents and business owners in Bexley to do more online but also it saves both taxpayers and the council time and money. We will continue to build on our hard work to make as many council services as possible available online."
The proportion of residents paying their council tax via Direct Debit increased by 7% in the last year, taking the total percentage of payments made this way to 71.4%.
Council Leader Cllr Teresa O’Neill said:
"Giving people the chance to make online payments, set up their housing benefit claims and Direct Debit orders from the website, and to inform us of any changes in their circumstances has helped our tax collection rate rise significantly. We are looking forward to continuing to improve outcomes and help residents by working with Capita over the coming years."
Residents can use the Council's online portal to register for an account and contact the council to pay council tax and business rates, make a planning application, or report a problem such as a missed bin collection. Further enhancements and services will continue to be added to the portal over the coming months.