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Reception to open on appointment-only basis from July 13

Update: Please be aware that from August 8 it is mandatory for face coverings to be worn on the premises. More information on face coverings can be found on the Government website.

Charnwood Borough Council will open its Customer Service Centre to customers with essential enquiries on an appointment-only basis from Monday, July 13.

Customers will be able to make appointments to visit the Customer Service Centre in Southfield Road by calling 01509 634560 from 9am on Wednesday July 8.

Appointments with a Customer Advisor will be available from Monday to Friday, 8.30am until 4.30pm, with 30-minute slots given to each customer. Reception will be closed from 12.30pm to 1.30pm daily and there will be no entry into the building during this time.

All customers will be required to queue outside of the building before entry, queuing guides have already been applied to the floor outside and inside to support social distancing. Customers will be encouraged to wear a face covering and will be required to use the hand sanitising station on entering the building. We may also ask to check their temperature before allowing entry.

People who visit the Council without an appointment will be triaged to establish the nature of their enquiry and if they are able to access the service from home online or by telephone they will be asked to do so.

Appointments will only be offered to those who have no other means of undertaking their transaction with the Council. Social distancing restrictions mean that there will only be a limited number of appointments available each day, which may mean triaged customers will be offered an appointment to return on a later date.

The customer service desks have been fitted with protective plastic screens to minimise infection transmission risks and to ensure that there is a safe distance between customers and staff members.

The reception area has been rearranged according to Government guidance on social distancing and interview rooms with plastic screens will be used for one-to-one meetings between customers and Council officers.

There will be no internal waiting area for customers and only one customer per enquiry will be allowed in the building unless the customer is vulnerable or exceptional circumstances apply.

The public access PCs that are normally available for customers will not be accessible and there are no toilets available for use by members of the public. This is to ensure that the number of people in the building is always kept to a minimum.

Customer Service Advisors have been supplied with the relevant PPE including a pack of washable face masks, gloves and hand sanitiser for their personal use, and the reception area is being thoroughly cleaned on a regular basis to ensure that there is no risk of infecting others.

Councillor Roy Rollings, lead member for transformation, said: “Our services have continued to run despite the pandemic, but as restrictions continue to ease, it is important that we make our services as accessible as possible.

“Opening the reception at Southfields for essential enquiries on an appointment-only basis will give peace-of-mind to customers who still need to have face-to-face contact with our officers.”

“I would urge customers to continue to use online services where possible. The Council website can be used to make payments, submit planning applications, apply for housing, manage your council tax and benefits and much more.”

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