A self service online system will be expanded on the Mayo County Council website, with one of the new enhancements being an online planning system. This new service will include a validation system, which will reduce the need for further information requests, and will therefore speed up in the time it takes to submit planning applications. The development of this novel system was welcomed by committee members of the Cultural, Education, Heritage and Corporate Affairs SPC meeting in the library last Wednesday.
During a discussion on how the council can develop savings through using IT, head of the IT department of the council, Mr Pat Carroll, outlined that the “one stop shop” on www.mymayo.ie will allow the public and the council to interact with each other in a more consumer-friendly, time-and cost-saving measure.
At present the site caters for non-domestic water users, allowing water and rate information to be viewed online and for payments for these services to be made by credit or debit card.
Fine Gael Councillor Peter Flynn welcomed the initiative, which is a “big plus” for the council. Cllr Flynn commended the council’s IT development, which according to him has come a long way in the past four to five years, but added that certain mind sets still need to be changed in encouraging employees and councillors to use IT services more, such as emailing each other rather than sending paper memos. The Westport councillor also said that there needs to be a review on which archive material is stored. He noted that for statutory reasons hard copies may need to be stored but there seems to be “files and files” of printed paper being stored in council offices.
Fianna Fáil Cllr Pat McHugh, said that Mayo County Council’s IT department is “most innovative” and Director of Services for Mayo County Council, Mr Joe Loftus, welcomed the development of the website and said that the SPC should now submit ideas and challenges to ensure that the best service is delivered. Mr Loftus also “insisted” that IT communication be used throughout the council as opposed to more traditional methods, such as sending paper memos.