A MULTI-MILLION pound deal has been struck to transform the way residents access council services.

North Yorkshire County Council and Hambleton District Council have signed a £7.4m contract with York technology provider Agilisys.

The deal will result in an overhaul of the authorities' Internet and telephone systems.

Councillor John Weighell, leader of the county council, said the ten-year deal would help the council handle 80 per cent of all enquiries with one visit, telephone call or Internet transaction.

He said: "The county council is embarking on a dynamic public access agenda which will revolutionise the way in which services are delivered.

"The public expects to be able to access our services through a range of channels and receive a speedy and efficient response."

Agilisys has already helped with the development of the county council's website.

The site will become interactive over the next year so residents and businesses can contact the county council and access services on-line.

Agilisys will also provide new technology to support the development of the county council's library and information centres to provide a one-stop shop service.

Charles Mindenhall, Agilisys chief executive, said: "We have worked very hard to see this partnership come of age.

"It has evolved significantly over the past year and is a testament to the skill and dedication of our staff that we have come this far.

"We are delighted to be working with North Yorkshire County Council and Hambleton District Council, who have shown tremendous commitment to the partnership and a willingness to work together to produce the best possible result.

"We look forward to working with them over the coming years to genuinely improve services for citizens."

Coun Weighell said: "This contract with Agilisys and Hambleton District Council will provide us with the technology to carry out these improvements and ensure North Yorkshire County Council is a 21st Century organisation providing excellent local services."

The councils are members of the North Yorkshire ICT Partnership, formed in 2001 to meet national e-government targets.