CAB and City Council launch improved services

The City Council’s Community Planning Manager, Steve Lincoln, at the new Bishops Waltham Local OfficeThe new premises for the Citizens Advice Bureau in Bishop’s Waltham, which also incorporates Winchester City Council’s new Local Office, will be officially opened by the Leader of the City Council, Cllr George Beckett, on 27 November.

From 11am onwards there will be an Open Day, offering members of the public the chance to come along, have a look around, and hear more about the range of services on offer.

The new building, Well House in Brook Street, will help the Citizens Advice Bureau to provide an improved service to clients. It is much closer to the centre of town and has an additional interview room and more space for the staff and volunteers to work. There is also a public access computer available, where clients can consult City Council, CAB and other public service websites free of charge. Opening hours for clients to drop in or telephone remain 10am until 2pm every Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday and Friday.

Cllr Jean Hammerton, Chair of the Bishops Waltham and Meon Valley CAB, said, "We are delighted to be able to offer improved services to our clients and better working conditions for our volunteers.  We are very grateful to Winchester City Council for providing the additional funding we needed, and feel sure that this joint venture will improve services offered to both CAB and City Council customers".

Cllr George Beckett Leader of Winchester City Council added: "The City Council has worked hard to link with other important services in the area, such as the Citizens Advice Bureau, to enable our rural communities to have convenient access to our services, as well as making them cost effective to provide locally".

Residents living outside of Winchester can now choose to contact Winchester City Council at the Local Office in Bishops Waltham Citizens Advice Bureau as well. General advice is available on all Council services every Thursday from 10am until 4pm and in-depth housing or benefits advice every Wednesday from 10am until 1pm.

Council services are also now available at Meadowside Leisure Centre in Whiteley and, from the end of November, at Alresford Library.  This initiative is part of the City Council’s push to provide a better service to residents in the more rural parts of the district. It reflects the emerging findings of the new Local Development Framework, which identifies these settlements as important areas for services.