Fife’s shift to “digital delivery” of many council services is saving paper, time and money – but the process is not without its flaws.

Cllr Altany Craik says Fife Council’s new way of dealing with everyday requests to the authority has left him frustrated.

Issues such as reporting a missing bin collection can now be reported online, using the nationally adopted “myAccount” system provided by the Scottish Government.

However, Cllr Craik says he has encountered “barriers” with the system himself, having tried to report a missed bin collection only to be faced with a five-step registration process that put him off from reporting it.

He feels these barriers might lead to frustration among Fifers, particularly those who are not digitally literate.

The councillor told a committee: “I feel bad moaning about something that’s been done well, but you don’t need to register to get a bin lifted or request a pothole repair. You don’t need my date of birth to get my bin lifted.

“For some people that barrier is what makes them decide they won’t bother (reporting a problem).

“It might be an age thing, but I ended up thinking ‘you know what, it can wait’. It should have been a ten minute job.

“It could have been a bin, a pothole, it doesn’t matter – it’s the appropriateness of whether you need to register for an account or whether you can just report something.

“There’s a change that needs to be made – I’m just not keen to do it without a bit of help, I suppose.”

The newly digital Fife Council has been created through a programme the authority calls Changing to Deliver, which aims to save millions of pounds each year by streamlining backend council services to make them cheaper and more effective.

Most of the changes have occured within council offices, and will not be noticed by ordinary Fifers.

However, Cllr Judy Hamilton, echoing Cllr Craik’s concerns, said digital processes that are introduced to the public should be as simple as possible.

“The council asks for a massive amount of data and we’re the same people telling people to protect their data,” she said.

“There’s no rhyme or reason, nobody knows why you can’t just give an email address to get an update. It contradicts the messages we’re giving out.”

Craig Waddell, the council’s change service manager, said the council can look again at how it processes simple requests.

However, Scots only need to register for the myAccount system once and can use the same log-in after submitting their first request. Accounts can also be carried across council areas.

Waddell said: “It’s about trying to close the loop. We ask people to register so they know they’ve reported their bin or that pothole, so they can get updates on where it is.

“It gives us a single view of a customer, so we know what they’ve requested and where each request is.

“I’ll certainly take that back into the customer service (team) and make sure we can reappraise that balance.”

Council co-leader David Alexander said that, despite concerns, the project had been carried out “magnificently well”, adding: “Well done to everybody involved.”