COUNCIL chiefs have taken the wraps off major changes to the opening hours of Wychavon’s customer contact centres including in Evesham which will now open just three days a week.
The number of visitors to each centre continues to fall as residents increasingly turn to online services to access help and support, pay bills or find out information, according to Wychavon bosses.
Over the last three years there has been a 53 per cent drop in visitors to Droitwich Contact Centre, while the number of people seeking help in person at Evesham Contact Centre is down 42 per cent. Pershore Contact Centre has also seen a drop in visitor numbers of 24 per cent over the same period.
On average only two to three people an hour are seen at Droitwich and Evesham Contact Centres. As a result, council bosses have decided it is no longer good value for local taxpayers to continue to operate both centres on their current opening hours.
Evesham Contact Centre’s opening hours will be reduced from five to three days a week, opening 9.30am to 3.30pm on Mondays, Wednesdays and Thursdays. Droitwich Contact Centre’s opening hours will be reduced by one day, opening on Tuesdays and Fridays from 9.30am to 3.30pm.
Pershore Contact Centre will remain open five days a week from 9am to 5pm.
Kath Smith, the council’s customer services manager said: “Residents increasingly want to do business with us online and at a time that suits them. That is why we have put a lot of effort into improving our website so people have the opportunity to report issues, find out information and make payments 24/7.
“While we continue to improve and develop our online services we know there are some people who need that face-to-face support, which is why we are maintaining our centres but at reduced opening hours. This ensures we deliver best value for the taxpayer while continuing to meet the ever changing needs of our customers.
Residents will still be able to access help and support by phone or by using any of the online services available at www.wychavon.gov.uk.
Bills can be paid via direct debit, online or at PayPoints based in local shops and other outlets.