Council services from your couch

A revamped service enabling people to contact the council from their couch has been displayed in Bishop Auckland.

The new service, Looking Local, can bring access to services from Durham County Council into people’s living rooms through their television sets. Looking Local can be used to access a range of council services, report issues and contact their local councillor. It works via Sky and Virgin set-top boxes and Nintendo Wii game consoles, and is aimed at households which do not have a home computer.

On a television with Sky the service can be accessed by going to the Community Channel.

The service can also be accessed through with the iPhone app or Android phone app with the required app.

Lynne and Alan Lloyd from Shildon are among a growing number of residents who are taking advantage of the service. The couple used their television set to access the Durham Key Options housing allocation service to successfully apply for rented accommodation.

Lynne said: “We just followed the instructions on the screen. I didn’t have any problems using the Sky remote to complete the application, our bid was successful and now we’re here in our new home.”

“Looking Local offers a new and convenient way to contact the council from the comfort of your own home,” said Jerry Miller, customer services development manager at Durham County Council.

“It’s easy to use and enables you to get in touch with the council to report local issues, renew library books, find out about job opportunities and even find a new home.”