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Access to Council Services

From Frances M

Tuesday, 10 January 2017

The Disability Access Forum will be discussing access to Council services. So we would really like to hear your views.

There is of course the telephone, internet and the Customer First adviser available in the library. Customer First is only once a week but I never know which day it it. It took me three attempts to catch them in, by which time there was a fair queue. When I got there they were unable to help with my enquiry as it was about free prescriptions and not in their remit.

Please let us know if you have had problems accessing the services and/or if disability has affected your ability to communicate to the council.

From Steve Sweeney

Sunday, 5 February 2017

Customer First is open two days a week at the Hebden Library, Monday and Thursday. It's function is to deal with Council Services, medical prescriptions are National Health.

From Julie C

Thursday, 23 February 2017

Customer First at the Library is to become Appointment only. The best place for them was in a private room in the Town Hall, it was central and easy to access, handy for people doing their Thursday market shop, and it always seemed well used.

Since they moved to the upstairs in the Library, it meant making more effort to see them, there was no privacy, lots of folk didn't know they were there, unsurprisingly they never seemed busy. It also seems that if you want to see someone from CAB you need to go over to Tod. It just seems that Hebden Royd people are missing out.

From David Tut

Friday, 24 February 2017

Yes Julie C, I have mentioned this problem of discussion that some of us have to do with Customer First and the local council and the privacy you would expect but nobody listens and once again that big white elephant, the town hall as not lived up to what I thought was going to be an improvement to the old council offices. Well I for one, with all its faults would go back to them days.

From Vikki Uttley

Friday, 24 February 2017

If Customer First is seen to be under-used, then the council has valid reason to close the Customer First facility down. It was well used in the Town Hall, centred in the heart of the community. We must be thankful it is now not situated at the top of Horseholds.

From Julie C

Friday, 24 February 2017

There still seem to be misconceptions about who owns/runs the Town Hall. The Council does not own it anymore. Without a community group taking it on, there would be no Town Hall/or Council Offices. There would be nowhere for the Police to have a room, or the local Town Council and Parish Councils to meet, or the Town Clerk to have an office. It would be like Adult Education at Pitt St, or the Local Police Station - disappeared - a victim of cuts.

Calderdale Council finances Customer First. It needed to pay for use of space in the Town Hall, it doesn't need to pay for space at the Library, but unfortunately it's provision there hasn't been a success - So Customer First will probably disappear entirely.

From Jan Scott Nelson

Saturday, 25 February 2017

The Town Hall is not owned by the council so berating it for not housing Customer First is a bit unfair. And in its further defence, may I just say, ‘have you been in recently’? The place is buzzing - full of all manner of community groups. There’s always a welcome when you walk through the door and my personal experience is that nothing is too much trouble for the people who work there. Scarcely a ‘white elephant’.

I’d say the Library is about as central to the town as the Town Hall, in that neither is geographically bang in the middle.

Privacy at Customer First, however, is a different matter and should be addressed. And of course it should be a walk-in facility.

From Dave R

Sunday, 26 February 2017

The location of Customer First is not really the issue, although I quite liked it being in the Town Hall, even though I wasn't sure of its opening hours.

For me, the move to the Library wouldn't be a problem if there was some clear signage of its opening hours and if it was in a private space. I recently stood at a discreet distance, waiting to be seen, the young lady in front of me was asked some very personal questions about her income, her relationship status and her children. I could clearly hear her giving very confidential information, and she was asked to speak up!
This surely can't be the right way to deal with people? Customer First? Not really is it!

From Julia Brady

Monday, 10 April 2017

I agree about the privacy issue, this could be very off-putting for people. Also, the sound of loud conversations from this desk  makes me unable to concentrate on even choosing a book, let alone reading one or studying.