RESIDENTS will have no incentive to start accessing council services online if a local authority continues to improve its call answering times, a meeting has heard.

North Yorkshire County Council’s executive was told while the last year had seen average call answering times cut from one minute 24 seconds to only 38 seconds, progress on providing services online had been slow.

Cllr Greg White, the council’s executive member for customer engagement, said the priority move towards online services was “way off” the ambition, partly due to the need to implement one service at a time and also that it had suffered resistance from outside organisations, such as the NHS.

But he said progress included introducing online access to blue disabled badge applications.

Cllr White said: “The county council is convinced that the best way we can offer quality services to our customers and residents is through our digital channels. We must make sure that we are not so quick at answering the phone that we frustrate that ambition.”

Cllr Derek Bastiman raised concerns that not everybody had internet access.