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Local authorities set to meet e-targets

The government has announced that local authority planning departments in England will meet the target to be 100 per cent 'e-enabled' by the end of this year.

Local e-government minister Phil Hope announced yesterday that authorities expect to deliver £1.2 billion in efficiency savings by 2008 as a result of e-government investment.

Hope said that the delivery of online planning services would make a big difference. 'The key is making it real - real life changes to the quality of life for ordinary people - people-focused outcomes,' he said.

'In over 100 councils, citizens can already go online to submit planning applications, check their council-tax balance and calculate their benefits entitlement.

'Our challenge for the next 12 months is to drive through the full benefits of e-government to help build the efficient and effective local councils that our communities deserve,' Hope added.

by Ed Dorrell

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