RAMSBOTTOM residents have a number of ways of contacting their local council thanks to a string of new services.

Bill payment and general advice has now been made easier after an automated telephone payment system was established.

Residents can contact 0161 253 7917 to make payments covering everything from housing rents to business rates.

The system will run 24 hours a day, all year round. A secure web server is also in operation by logging onto the www.bury.gov.uk website.

Alternatively for people requiring the personal touch, Ramsbottom Council offices in Carr Street are still open for all Bill Payments on Monday 2pm-4.30pm and Wednesday and Thursday 9am-4.30pm.

For people needing to pay rent, Ramsbottom council tenants can apply to Bury Metro for a plastic rent card. When issued the tenant will be able to pay rent anywhere in the country.