30/07/2018 - Permalink

Council encourages people to have their say on how they access services

Related topics: Corporate

Shropshire Council is encouraging people to have their say on how they access services in their area, following a year-on-year decrease in the number of people visiting its face to face offices.

Over the past five years, the number of people using the council’s six main face to face offices has been steadily falling, from 70,615 in April 2014 compared to just 33,079 in April 2018. Also, some of the council’s smaller offices see no customers at all some months.

To address these challenges, the council is proposing to:

  • Reduce the days on which staff at its main offices in Shrewsbury, Oswestry, Whitchurch, Market Drayton, Ludlow and Bridgnorth are available to directly support customers.
  • Not offer a face to face service at its smaller offices in Albrighton, Bishop’s Castle, Broseley, Church Stretton Town Council and Church Stretton Health and Well-being Centre, Cleobury Country, Ellesmere, Shifnal and Wem, some of which have no recorded customer use.

People will still be able to speak to a customer services adviser by telephoning the Customer Service Centre which is open between 8am and 6pm Monday to Friday and 9am to 1pm on Saturdays. The Customer Service Centre is able to deal with the majority of people’s queries. The council will also try to maintain its self-service telephones linked to this centre, as well as free to use public computers wherever it can.

Steve Charmley, Shropshire Council’s Cabinet member for corporate and commercial support, said:

“Whilst we recognise that some residents need local access to services, we have to find ways of achieving this on much-reduced budgets.

“In preparation for the consultation we have looked critically and sensibly at the times we have staff present in our offices. We need to make sure that we provide value for money, whilst continuing to be fair to our customers.

“Currently, these are simply proposals and no decisions have yet been made. We’d really like to hear your thoughts.”

The consultation runs from today (Monday 30 July 2018) and will close on Friday 24 August 2018. During this time there will be information at each of the council’s customer service points explaining the proposals and inviting people to comment.

For more information about the consultation and to take part, visit shropshire.gov.uk/get-involved/customer-service-opening-hours-review-2018/

Further information

Reduction in the use of Customer Service Face to Face points over 5 years
Year endedApril 2014April 2015April 2016April 2017April 2018
Customer numbers70,61570,82552,02539,22933,079