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Equality Impact Assessment: Alternative Payment Options

 Main purpose of the policy, service or function

This project will allow customers to pay for Council services at Post Offices and a number of convenience stores. 

List the main activities or objectives of the policy, service or function

It is currently estimated that the number of payment points will increase to around 50.  As many of these shops will be convenience stores, it will allow customers to make payments outside of normal office hours.

To fund this improved service, the Council will need to remove the option to take cash and cheque payments at its offices wherever possible.  Payment options for each service will be reviewed before payment arrangements are changed.

 

Linked documents and information:

Refer to Executive Report

Evidence

A survey of customers paying at Council offices (cash, card or cheque) was undertaken to establish if it would be useful if there were more available places to make payments to the Council.

Screening for impacts

Does the policy, service or function impact on the following?

Equality Impact Screening

 Impact? (Yes/No)

 Positive impact (it could benefit)

 Negative impact (it could disadvantage)

 

Age

Yes

The proposed option of more payment points will have a postive impact on all customers who currently chose to visit council offices to make a payment.  By giving the customer more channels to make a payment will make this service more accessible to all protected characteristics as listed in this EIA.

Payment points improve access and convenience for older people.

If the option to pay at council offices is removed then this will have an impact on those customers who chose to pay their bills at council offices.  However, customers will then be able to pay at post offices and payment outlets. Payment outlets are commonly located within local convenience stores with much longer opening hours than the council offices. Any negative impact on the protected characteristics will be minimal. This can be demonstrated as only 31% of customer properties currently fall within one kilometre of a Council office, whereas 70% would fall within one kilometre of a Post Office or Paypoint.

 

Disability

Yes

Agents for other payment networks will have to conform with the Disability Discrimination Act. Access for people with disabilities  

 

Gender Reassignment

Yes Service will be available to all  

 

Pregnancy & Maternity

Yes

Service will be available to all

 

 

Race

Yes

Service will be available to all

 

 

Religion or Belief

Yes

Service will be available to all religions and beliefs.

 

 

Rurality

Yes

By giving the customer more channels to make a payment will make this service more accessible to those living in rural areas. 

This will also be supporting the rural econmomy - post offices and local outlets.

 

 

Sex

Yes

Service will be available to all. Better opening hours will have a positive impact on those who work full time.

 

 

Sexual Orientation

Yes Service will be available to all    
Socio Economic Yes

Increase in footfall in local businesses which helps to support the local economy.

Service will be available to all sectors of society.

   

 

Please list below any recommendations for action that you plan to take as a result of this impact assessment
Issue  Action Required Resource Implications Outcome
Customer Service Staff The staff affected will be consulted on the staffing implications of this change.    
Communication of changes to payment points Publicising the changes to payment arrangements at council offices, need to ensure that all people with language barriers or sight difficulties are able to read the notices issued. There will be extra costs if leaflets need to be translated or provided in braille.  
Promoting alternative payment methods Promoting the options to pay at the Post Office, payment point oulets etc via press release, leaflets notices etc Printing costs  
       
Carlisle City Council logo   Cumbria County Council

Copeland District Council logo   Eden District Council logo

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Contact us

0303 123 1702

Allerdale Borough Council
Allerdale House, Workington, Cumbria,
CA14 3YJ