Over the past three years footfall at Customer Access Points/Tourist Information Centre has reduced by 17% overall, with evidence suggesting that more residents want to access services over the telephone and online as opposed to via traditional Customer Access Points.
The district council currently provides 11 Customer Access Points/TICs at a cost of around £730,000 per year.
The Council has put forward two proposals for consultation with residents and interested parties:
Proposal A - Reduce opening hours at Horncastle CAP/TIC, Louth CAP/TIC, Mablethorpe CAP and Skegness CAP from November 1, 2016 by 47 per cent. Alford CAP, Holton Le Clay CAP, Tattershall CAP and Spilsby CAP to close from October 28, 2016. Mablethorpe TIC to have slightly reduced hours based on footfall.
Manby CAP would close and become a reception for visitors to the Council’s Headquarters only.
Increase Call Centre capacity to ensure it can meet demand and make more services available online. Seek a local management arrangement for Woodhall Spa TIC or close.
This proposal would save £150,000 in 2017/18 and £205,000 per year thereafter.
Proposal B - Reduce opening hours at Alford CAP, Horncastle CAP/TIC, Louth CAP/TIC, Skegness CAP, Mablethorpe CAP, Holton Le Clay CAP, Spilsby CAP and Tattershall CAP by 73 per cent.
Manby CAP would close and become a Reception for visitors to the Council’s Headquarters only.
Increase telephone Call Centre capacity to ensure it can meet demand and make more services available online.
Mablethorpe TIC to have slightly reduced hours based on footfall. Seek a local management arrangement for Woodhall Spa TIC or close.
This proposal would save £168,000 in 2017/18 and £217,000 per year thereafter.
Residents are asked to identify their preferred proposal, or put forward their own for consideration.
The Council is already in discussions with the directors of the Cottage Museum in Woodhall Spa in respect of a local management arrangement.
The proposals would see more services accessible at www.e-lindsey.gov.uk and more Customer Service Advisors in the Council’s Call Centre to handle telephone calls and customer emails.
Part of the online improvements would include the launch of a ‘My Account’ function that enables residents and businesses to log-on and complete and track a range of transactions via the website and manage Housing Benefit, Council Tax Support and Council Tax accounts online, as well as check bin collection days, receive flood alerts, contact their local District Councillors and report issues.
Portfolio Holder for Partnerships, Councillor Graham Marsh, said: “The expectations of our customers are changing as is the way they access services.
“Whilst we recognise there is still a need for Customer Access Points in some locations, customer feedback so far is telling us residents wish to do more over the telephone and online so it makes sense to consider shifting resources in that direction, whilst also being able to deliver a significant saving for taxpayers.
“I’d encourage residents to take part in this important consultation.”
Residents can visit: www.e-lindsey.gov.uk/consultation to have their say on the proposals.
The consultation is open until June 17 at 5pm. The survey is also available to complete at the Council’s Customer Access Points.