BARNSLEY has become one of the first councils in the UK to roll out an artificial intelligence programme to help alleviate staff members’ workloads.

AI tool Microsoft Dynamics 365 has been trialled by the council in its customer contact centre, facilities management reporting and commercial waste management.

Social care workers have also used the AI tool to free up time for visits. It can summarise large files when social workers take on a new case, presenting key information and major risk factors.

By freeing up contact centre staff time, the council say they will be able to focus on vulnerable adults and complex cases which require human interaction.

An app created for the commercial waste team can also deploy the workforce to reports of fly-tipping and graffiti.

Wendy Popplewell, executive director of core services at the council, said: “We talk about the importance of being brave in Barnsley.

“We’re using the latest technology to make this a place where you can come and do the job you always wanted to do.”