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In brief .... 31 July 2015




Bristol gets cloud system for housing

Bristol City Council has signed a £1.9 million deal with Civica to use its cloud-based Housing Cx system for its housing management.

It will provide a service for 61,000 tenants in the city, and give the council access to all information about tenancies, rents, repair works, waiting lists and feedback.

The system can be navigated through an app style interface that features separate portals for housing managers, tenants and suppliers. It can also automate tenant preferences on how they want to receive any communications.

Councillor Daniella Radice, assistant mayor for neighbourhoods, said: “The system will work better for both officers and tenants. Officers will be able to access lots of different housing information in one place, and whilst they are out and about, not just in the office. This is a significant investment in our housing services in Bristol and I look forward to its smooth implementation.”

The solution is fully integrated with Keystone, Civica’s asset management tool, used by Bristol City Council to support the effective administration of housing stock.


Bournemouth moves to hosted waste and highways software

Bournemouth Borough Council has moved its Mayrise Waste and Highways software to a hosted solution as part of its effort to increase operational efficiencies and improve customer service.

Jane A’Court, the council’s business development and accounts manager, said the move followed a review of its IT infrastructure and working practices, and would give it fast access to upgrades of the software. Also, the hosted software will be able to integrate with Bournemouth’s customer relationship management system, giving residents 24/7 access to information and the ability to report issues and log requests.

“The introduction of mobile working for highways inspectors is already improving the operational efficiency of planned inspections and ad-hoc reports,” she said. “Using Wi-Fi and 3G enabled devices, inspectors can receive daily inspection routines, file completed reports and respond to requests from the public without having to return to the office.”


GCHQ creates student placements

GCHQ has launched a new series of placement schemes that will see technology students working alongside world-class technical experts inside the Cheltenham-based intelligence and security agency’s iconic Doughnut building.

Aimed at university students studying a relevant technical degree the two schemes on offer will allow them to get paid whilst contributing to GCHQ’s crucial work in one of its complex technical environments.

There are summer placement and industrial placement schemes, enabling students to hone their skills and support the effort to combat cyber threats. Students for both schemes can work in one of five technical areas within GCHQ: advanced technology research, software development, computer network operations, information assurance or systems engineering.


Policy in Practice launches Benefit and Budgeting Toolkit

Social policy software provider Policy in Practice has released a Universal Benefit Toolkit, aimed at helping housing associations and local authorities to streamline the calculation of benefit entitlement.

The cloud based system enables financial inclusion managers, housing officers and employment advisors to support their customers by showing them the benefits they can receive, how they can budget better and, where appropriate, how much better off in work they would be.

The outcome-based approach also highlights possible areas of assistance and opportunities to improve a customer’s financial circumstances. The data, which can be entered either in real time or off-line, can be shared with other departments as appropriate.

Integrated tools include a Universal Credit calculator, a Discretionary Housing Payment calculator, a budgeting tool, a self-service calculator and management reporting.


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