This article was published on May 16, 2016 and information contained within may now be out of date.
A proposal by East Lindsey District Council could see the Community Access Point in Spilsby closed or on reduced hours.
The Community Access Point, based in Franklin Hall, allows local residents to access a range of services provided by the District Council including paying Council Tax locally.
Residents are being asked for their views on proposals to make more services available through the District Council’s website and by increasing the Council’s telephone call centre capacity whilst reducing Customer Access Point provision across the District.
…Customer feedback so far is telling us residents wish to do more over the telephone and online so it makes sense to consider shifting resources in that direction, whilst also being able to deliver a significant saving for taxpayers.Councillor Graham Marsh
East Lindsey District Council
The Council currently provides 11 Customer Access Points across the District which cost around £730,000 per year but the number of people accessing these facilities has dropped by 17% over the past three years whilst access to services over the telephone and online have increased.
Two proposals have been put forward by the Council for consultation, one of which would see some of the infrequently used access points close, which would include Spilsby. The second proposal would see a 73% reduction in the opening times instead of complete closure.
Residents are being asked by the Council to identify their preferred proposal, or suggest their ideas for what can be done.
The proposals would see more services accessible through the Council’s website and more Customer Service Advisors available to handle telephone calls and customer emails. The Council would look to include a “My Account” function on the website to allow residents and businesses the opportunity to track their transactions with the Council, including Council Tax, Housing Benefits and Council Tax Support.
Portfolio Holder for Partnerships, Councillor Graham Marsh, said: “The expectations of our customers are changing as is the way they access services. Whilst we recognise there is still a need for Customer Access Points in some locations, customer feedback so far is telling us residents wish to do more over the telephone and online so it makes sense to consider shifting resources in that direction, whilst also being able to deliver a significant saving for taxpayers. I’d encourage residents to take part in this important consultation.”
Residents can visit www.e-lindsey.gov.uk/consultation to have their say on the proposals. The consultation is open until June 17 at 5pm.
The survey is also available to complete at the Council’s Customer Access Points for those without online access.
The Council’s full proposals are as follows:
Proposal A – Reduce opening hours at Horncastle CAP/TIC, Louth CAP/TIC, Mablethorpe CAP and Skegness CAP from November 1, 2016 by 47%. Alford CAP, Holton Le Clay CAP, Tattershall CAP and Spilsby CAP to close from October 28, 2016. Mablethorpe TIC to have slightly reduced hours based on footfall. Manby CAP would close and become a Reception for visitors to the Council’s Headquarters only. Increase Call Centre capacity to ensure it can meet demand and make more services available online. Seek a local management arrangement for Woodhall Spa TIC or close. This proposal would save £150,000 in 2017/18 and £205,000 per year thereafter.
Proposal B – Reduce opening hours at Alford CAP, Horncastle CAP/TIC, Louth CAP/TIC, Skegness CAP, Mablethorpe CAP, Holton Le Clay CAP, Spilsby CAP and Tattershall CAP by 73%. Manby CAP would close and become a Reception for visitors to the Council’s Headquarters only. Increase telephone Call Centre capacity to ensure it can meet demand and make more services available online. Mablethorpe TIC to have slightly reduced hours based on footfall. Seek a local management arrangement for Woodhall Spa TIC or close. This proposal would save £168,000 in 2017/18 and £217,000 per year thereafter.