North East Wales

Wrexham council to block premium lines after £20k bill

A council plans to block calls to some premium-rate phone lines after staff spent more than £20,000 on high-cost calls in three years.

The figure includes about £11,600 spent at Wrexham Council on premium-rate numbers.

Another £8,200 was spent dialling directory enquiries and nearly £800 on BT's speaking clock.

The council said it was a large organisation but the issue highlighted it could "do things differently".

The figures were revealed in a Freedom of Information request was made by wrexham.com.

The website claims: "The council did specify that these bills were paid to British Telecom, who charge 31p per use of the talking clock therefore indicating that it was called over 2,500 times, or just over twice a day."

'Whole range'

The council said the "vast majority" of premium-rate calls related to subjects including alarm systems, postal printing services and "monitoring systems in respect of sheltered housing accommodation, tele-care etc".

A statement added: "The council is a large and diverse organisation with offices and outlets all over the county borough, including schools, and telephone calls are made to a range of different agencies and organisations about a whole range of subjects to ensure efficient and safe services are provided to our customers.

"This issue has, however, highlighted that it is possible for the council to do things differently in this area by ensuring that access to some premium line numbers are blocked in the future."

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