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Partnership delivers improved services for Peterborough residents

Published: 29 Nov 2016

The partnership between Peterborough City Council and Serco, which yesterday celebrated its fifth anniversary, has delivered a range of improvements to the quality of services provided to the residents in Peterborough.

Under a ten year contract, which started on 28 November 2011, Serco took on responsibility for a range of front-line and back office services for the council, including Customer Services, Business Services, HR and Payroll, Shared Transactional Services, ICT, Procurement and Business Transformation. The partnership has, to date, delivered a range of specific improvements including:

  • A 66% improvement in the speed of processing of housing benefit claims and significant other benefits for some of community’s most vulnerable residents.This has included new claims processing times reduced from 45 to 16 days;
  • Introduction of housing benefit online claim forms and enquiries service which mean that nearly all aspects of making claims can be done online 24/7, resulting in a reduction in paper documentation by 40%;
  • Development of guidance for local small and medium enterprises to ensure they have the best chance of successfully bidding for council work;
  • Supporting the installation of around 90km of fibre optic cable working with CityFibre - making significant savings to telecoms budgets and allowing for faster broadband connectivity to new businesses and citizens across the city;
  • Helping 24 long term unemployed Peterborough residents get back into work, during 2015, by supporting them with transferable skills and assignments;
  • Running an Apprentice Academy with 17 apprentices giving the opportunity to share and gain new experiences as well as support to complete their qualifications;
  • Helping our 185,000 residents access council services in new digital ways that provide quicker, more efficient and cost effective services, 24/7, such as on-line payments and reporting and contact via social media.

The signification transformation of services by the partnership has recently been recognised by a national award with the benefits team winning the ‘Most Improved Team of the Year’ at the Institute of Revenues Ratings and Valuation Awards (IRRV) 2016.

In addition, we have achieved, for every year of the contract, the national Customer Service Excellence (CSE) accreditation - demonstrating not only excellent customer service but sustaining this and improving year on year.  The CSE accreditation is a national government standard which assesses and recognises organisations with outstanding performance in customer service.   We achieved this by meeting customer expectations first time - with an average first contact resolution of 92% and demonstrating that customers appreciate the service that is being delivered with customer satisfaction at 99%.

The five-year anniversary of the partnership was yesterday celebrated with an event at the town hall attended by elected members, council and Serco staff as well as a number of partner organisations.

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Serco is excited about the next five years of the contract and beyond and looking at the following possible improvements:

  • Serco is investing in new contact centre technology which we would like to bring to Peterborough;
  • We are working in partnership with CapGemini to drive exciting developments in managing data and predictive analysis;
  • We will be greatly increasing the numbers of Serco apprentices in the next couple of years and we hope many more here in Peterborough.

Councillor David Seaton, Cabinet Member for Resources for Peterborough City Council, said: “Working in partnership with Serco has allowed the council to provide a whole range of services in a more efficient, accessible and cost-effective way. Over the last five years, our partnership has led to some real benefits for both the council and our tax payers, from reducing the time taken to process housing benefit claims, to creating employment opportunities, to providing faster and more effective ways of accessing our services. I look forward to the next five years and the many more successes that they will bring.”

Amanda Best, Serco’s Contract Director for Peterborough, said: “We are delighted to be able to use the fifth anniversary of our Partnership with Peterborough City Council to recognise the hard work and commitment of our people and to highlight the service improvements that they have helped deliver for the residents of Peterborough. We appreciate that there is always more that can be done and as a team we are looking forward to continuing this progress and delivering further improvements in these vital services that we deliver to the Council and local residents.”


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