CALLS to the Isle of Wight Council in April faced up to 35 minute delays.

A report, due to go before tonight’s (Tuesday) scrutiny committee, shows the maximum delay experienced by callers has increased since January — from 20 minutes to just over 35 minutes.

However, this is a year on year decrease. Last year, the maximum delay experienced by callers was over 40 minutes.

A £100,000 boost, given to the contact centre last year, has not enabled the recruitment of permanent roles, but has allowed more fixed term positions to be given to the team.

The Isle of Wight call centre handles approximately 50,000 calls per month, with the greatest number in relation to council tax.

Because of this, the contact centre team have been moved to sit next to the council tax team, to help handle enquiries more efficiently.

Although the council is focusing on developing online self-service transaction, the report says 27 per cent of Islanders are aged over 65, and 23 per cent have a long term illness or disability that make them unable to use alternative contact methods.

The report adds: “The number of calls received in the contact centre is decreasing and the speed of answer is improving due to a number of service improvements.

“However, there are still instances where customers are waiting too long for it to be answered.”