Waiting times cut and facilities improved as Winchester City Council unveils new reception
Residents will benefit from reduced waiting times and improved facilities at Winchester City Council’s newly refurbished reception area on Colebrook Street.
New cash kiosks will allow customers to make faster financial transactions, while residents seeking advice and support on planning (including those which are submitted within the South Downs National Park), housing, licensing and benefit payments can take advantage of the upgraded consultation areas.
Visitors to the new reception will be greeted by officers ready to support them in using the new equipment, which will speed up payments and minimise queuing times.
The modernised hub reflects a council-wide drive to refocus the business in a way that makes it easier for residents and businesses to access council services while saving them both time and money. One new aspect of this is that phone customers will also be spared long waits with a new call-back service available to prevent people having to hang on the line.
Portfolio Holder for Customer Services, Cllr Stephen Godfrey officially opened the centre on 14 January at a public reception that was supported by local food charity First Bite.He said:
“People don’t want to have their time taken up by simple tasks, which is why we are making their transactions with us so much simpler. Our new kiosks will allow people to make quick payments, while those needing more support will have improved privacy in the upgraded consultation areas.
“This is the first of a series of measures we are taking that will make it easier for our customers to conduct business with the council. We are changing the way we do business, improving access to our services and over the next year we will review the processes within our services with a view to making them as efficient and as simple as possible.
“We have already moved a number of our services online and it won’t be long until the rest follow.”
The local charity, Citizen’s Advice Winchester District, is relocating their service next door to the council reception area. This co-location of services will allow residents to gain support and advice on a range of issues affecting their everyday lives, quickly and easily.