• Success Story
  • Sandwell

Transforming casework management to streamline processes and increase satisfaction among residents of Sandwell

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In 2019, a fundamental review of councillor development was carried out in Sandwell Metropolitan Borough Council to revolutionise the learning offer for elected members. Digital skills and confidence amongst elected members varied greatly, so the review included a workstream for digital skills and service transformation to bring everyone to a baseline of digital confidence and modernise how councillors work.

An important part of the work that councillors do is representing the needs of ward constituents. In large, this involved raising and advancing resident issues with disparate council departments to ensure residents in their ward get the outcomes they need to prosper across various social and economic issues. This is known as ‘casework.’

Historically, councillors have had great difficulty managing casework effectively. Cases moved forward via email, which relied on councillors knowing who to contact. This meant a councillor’s ability to efficiently progress casework relied on their knowledge of the council, creating a disadvantage to those new or less experienced councillors. Ultimately, a councillor’s knowledge level impacted residents who relied on their councillors to resolve issues that they felt strongly enough to escalate, including those having a significant impact on their quality of life.

One of the key outcomes of the review was the need to modernise how casework is managed with the implementation of a new casework ‘portal.’ This project, which has significantly changed the way councillors in Sandwell work, was recently recognised in the Granicus 2022 Digital Public Sector Awards as a finalist in the ‘Operational Efficiency’ category and the winner of the ‘Digital Achievement’ award.


  • 46% Increase in FOI responses for casework
  • Greater Insights Allowing the council to review how services are resourced and managed
  • 12,000 items processed Eighty-two councillors have used the portal to process over 12,000 items of casework
  • 5 days Saved The average response time to a councillor enquiry decreased from 13 days to 8 days
Must have Granicus Solutions
The Process

User-centric co-design

As part of the initial programme design, including workshops, councillors identified 26 key requirements of an effective portal. These requirements included:

  • A directory of key service areas/contacts to avoid unnecessary searching
  • The facility for councillors to access what is key to them personally
  • An enquiries section with the ability to escalate
  • Latest news and updates
  • Learning menus/a training directory
  • Links to Council websites and more…

Officers from the Council’s Digital Transformation and Civic & Member Services teams utilised this information to create a solution that would be fit for purpose to get the best outcomes they can from their casework for their residents. The project that ensued culminated in the development and deployment of the MyCouncillor Portal.

The MyCouncillor Portal is a purpose-built online digital system, building on Granicus’ govService ‘Councillor Portal’ product to develop a system for councillors, with councillors. It is used by councillors to manage all their constituent casework in a secure environment with easy access to a range of useful council and partner information.

Furthermore, the platform works seamlessly with MySandwell, the council’s online resident portal, also powered by govService. This integrated digital service channel allows councillors to report problems in their wards proactively or on behalf of constituents and be kept updated on the outcome.

By selecting the service they require, MyCouncillor creates an automated workflow to ensure that councillors can get casework to the right council department quicker and easier than ever.


Transformative outcomes

Following vigorous piloting to a portion of the councillors, roll out for this portal began in March 2021 and all councillors were trained by October 2021. Since then, the system has provided new data insights to help the council understand the operational significance of this customer contact and review operational practices across all departments. Data showed that the portal had improved the support offered to residents and supported councillors in brokering the best outcomes for them in the most efficient way available. Just a few of the reports have shown:

  • FOI responses for casework increased between May 2019 and March 2020 from 2,536, to 5,486 between May 2021 and January 2022.
  • An understanding of which services generate the most contact from customers via their local councillors, allowing them to review how this is resourced and managed in a way previously not available.
  • An increase in digital confidence and skills across the ward councillor group. Eighty-two councillors have used the portal to process over 12,000 items of casework.
  • The determined SLA for most enquiries is 10 working days. The average response time to a councillor enquiry decreased from 13 days in 2021 to 8 days in 2022 (as of August 2022).
  • New potential opportunities for using big data for service monitoring and performance improvements to achieve the council’s broader goals.