TV and smartphone move for council

A new digital TV and smartphone information service will be launched by Argyll and Bute Council on  Monday (November 26).

Plans for Looking Local were revealed here in September and the Lochgilphead-based authority says the move aims to make services as accessible as possible.

The new service means that residents will be able to access over 400 pages of information about council services from their TV sets and smartphones.

They can also request a range of services and report issues, sourcing content from the council’s website to check news and service disruption information.

There will be links to national services including NHS24, JobCentre Plus and Transport Direct. The interactive part of the service will allow customers to report issues such as potholes and request a service such as library book renewals.

Argyll and Bute Looking Local will initially be available for existing Sky TV and Virgin Media customers, smartphone users and customers who have connected their Wii games consoles to broadband.

As it will be delivered by services that customers already subscribe to, there is no cost to receive it and the service will also shortly be available on the new national Freeview service YouView.

Lead councillor for customers and communication, Louise Glen-Lee, said: “Argyll and Bute Looking Local extends the reach of our digital information services to those customers who do not use internet services and those who prefer to access them using mobile devices.

“We hope the new Looking Local service will benefit citizens at both ends of the technology-using spectrum. People uncomfortable using the internet can now get council information through their Sky or Virgin Media TV channels in the comfort of their home.

“Similarly, the tremendous take up of smartphones and mobile technology means an increasing number of people are seeking information on the go.

To view Argyll and Bute Looking Local on Sky go to channel 539, press the red button, select Scotland and select Argyll and Bute.

On Virgin Media go to channel 233 and press the red button, and with a phone or console go to lookinglocal.gov.uk/argyllbute

Further information can be found at the council’s website, www.argyll-bute.gov.uk/tv

The service will cost £20,000 in the first year.

A meeting in September heard of proposals for liverstreaming of council meetings and setting up a dedicated television station for Argyll and Bute in conjunction with Helensburgh-based URTV.

But last week the council’s media platforms short life working group was recommended to take no further action on this, although the council’s constitution may be amended to allow meetings to be filmed via video conferencing.

2 Comments

  1. Well, we would be able to renew library books if they hadn’t closed the ruddy library! And how much did that save? Wasn’t it 20K?

    • Closing the libraries in Cove and Garelochhead was intended to save £30,000 per year, while the annual rent paid by the council to Cove Burgh Hall was about £2,500. Just for context, the zebra crossing in Kilcreggan cost just over £10,000. The illuminated road safety sign on the A814 near Helensburgh Sailing Club, which seldom seems to show anything other than a generic message, cost £16,133, partly funded by Strathclyde Partnership for Transport.

Comments are closed.