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Decision details

Channel Choice and Telephone Access

Decision Maker: Executive

Decision status: Recommendations Approved

Is Key decision?: Yes

Is subject to call in?: Yes


Councillor Alaric Smith, Executive Member for Leisure and Major Projects, introduced and gave a detailed overview of the report, which outlined the Council’s success in supporting the shift in customer demand to digital channels and to consider adjusting telephone access hours as part of a balanced approach to customer contacts that responded to customer preferences.

Councillor Julian Cooper raised concerns about reducing telephone access and advised he did not agree with the proposal.

Councillor Michele Mead stated that she had voted against this proposal at the recent meeting of the Finance and Management Overview & Scrutiny meeting. Councillor Mead highlighted the number of residents who do not have access to computers or are unable to make calls in the morning due to working hours.

The Executive advised that money had been saved by taking this approach, but that investments had been made in the Welch Way Town Centre ‘shop’ and in systems to support the change. The Executive expressed that the changes were on a trial basis and access channels were remaining open. There were multiple means of accessing the service; residents to call in, use digital channels and walk into the Town Centre.

Councillor Alaric Smith proposed that the Executive agree the recommendations as set in the report. This was seconded by Councillor Andy Graham, was put to a vote, and unanimously agreed by the Executive.

The Executive Resolved to:

  1. Agree the reduced telephone access hours, on a trial basis, with effect from Monday 16 October 2023; and
  2. Receive a further report, detailing the finding and recommendations from the trial, to an Executive meeting in the first quarter of 2024/25.

Report author: Jon Dearing

Publication date: 15/09/2023

Date of decision: 13/09/2023

Decided at meeting: 13/09/2023 - Executive

Effective from: 24/09/2023

Accompanying Documents: