Published on 21st July 2022
New area offers supported access to the internet, private telephone booths, with the option for customers to book appointments.
Customers will receive a warm welcome when the public reception area of the Municipal Offices re-opens from 25 July, following its period of closure. Whilst customers are encouraged to continue to make the most of the speed and efficiency of the council’s online services from the comfort of their home, new facilities have been introduced to support those who need assistance with internet access.
The cash hall will remain closed as part of the redesign and move to online services. Customers will be asked to book ahead if an in-person meeting is required, as many services will be offered by appointment to improve the customer experience.
The reception’s new design has been created with the customer in mind. Since the beginning of the pandemic, there has been far less demand for face-to-face services, with customers self-serving at home, for instance using the website or telephone, to check their bin collection days, make payments and view planning applications.
The council is aware however that not everyone is able to do this and the design of the new look reception area has been done with this extra assistance in mind. Improvements to the area include a new layout, two self-serve computers and two telephone kiosks, all of which are pre-programmed with direct links and phone numbers to key service areas. The reception also has a new private meeting room for customers to use during appointments. The area has been freshly decorated and has a new welcome desk.
Councillor Peter Jeffries, deputy leader and cabinet member for finance and assets, said: ‘’The customer reception area hasn’t been redesigned since 2004, so it was only right that after so long and with lessons learned during the pandemic, we create a space that is fit for purpose and offers the best possible experience for our customers. We know that more people enjoy the flexibility of self-serving and we continue to make improvements to our online offer to ensure that this gets better and even easier over time. However, we are also aware that we need to ensure all of our residents – including those who are vulnerable – have equal access to services which are vital to their wellbeing. That’s why we have created a welcoming, friendly and fully supported space for those at risk of digital exclusion, as well as safe and private rooms for those needing appointments with staff.’’
A reminder to residents that the cash hall is closed permanently. Most services can be accessed online, with the option for quick and efficient payments, visit www.cheltenham.gov.uk. To make an appointment, customers can call 01242 262626.
For press enquiries contact [email protected], 01242 264288.