Somerset council website causes extra £750k staff bill

Council website Image copyright SSDC
Image caption Backlogs and staff shortages have resulted from the "Transformation" at South Somerset council

Problems with a council's new website have led to delays and an extra £750,000 spending on staff.

South Somerset District Council wants residents to access more services online as part of what it dubbed the "Transformation Programme".

But people have faced longer waits and some staff who were let go are having to be replaced.

"This led to sustained period of pressure on services and staff that was never envisaged," a spokesman said.

Departments including planning, revenue and benefits have been left under additional pressure because of staff shortages and a backlog of cases.

Under the Transformation Programme some staff left at the end of last year when it was anticipated the new digital services would be ready and the workers not needed.

But that has not happened and has led to pressure on the remaining staff and delays for people trying to get help.

At a meeting in Yeovil earlier, Liberal Democrat councillors agreed to spend nearly £750,000 to help tackle the problem.

The cash would be spent over the next two years on bringing in temporary staff to help clear the backlog.

The authority admitted some people who use its services have had longer waits when they have called the council, or no answer at all.

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