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Contact point closures lead to a change in accessing Aberdeenshire Council services

By David Porter

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Customers needing help and support from Aberdeenshire Council services are being encouraged to make the move online and over the phone as service point provision is removed from the end of next week.

Aberdeenshire Council is set to close several north-east service points on April 26 including Towie House in Turriff
Aberdeenshire Council is set to close several north-east service points on April 26 including Towie House in Turriff

With services and budgets stretched, the Council is focusing on improving call wait times by closing the smallest of its Service Points and moving staff onto the phones.

Residents can make payments, access benefits and grants support and find helpful information on the services that matter most to them online and over the phones. And, if an issue cannot be resolved over the phone, an appointment will be arranged at a local office to provide the necessary help and support. Payments can also be made in all Post Offices and at PayPoints.

Following a careful analysis of the usage of Service Points, councillors agreed to close the smallest Service Points at their budget meeting on February 22.

While the council’s main focus remains on ensuring the delivery of core and statutory services, the Service Points in Banff, Ellon, Huntly, Stonehaven and Turriff will be closing on April 26. The Service Points at Fraserburgh, Inverurie and Peterhead will remain open. Customers will be supported to access services via online and telephone, with signposting available at any council building including Live Life Aberdeenshire facilities. Wherever possible, however, customers are now being encouraged to self-serve using a variety of online options available via the website and mobile app.

Rob Simpson, Director of Business Services, explains: “We remain committed to delivering top quality customer service, across all services, to all residents and businesses ensuring customers can contact us in a way, and at a time, convenient to them. Over the previous five years, payments account for approximately 30% of footfall at the Turriff Service Points. PayPoints and Post Offices can also provide this service, which help retain footfall in local areas. We do appreciate that the withdrawal of these five service points across Aberdeenshire will impact some of our customers, but rest assured we will continue to support them as they begin to access services via online and telephone means.”

Councillor Alistair Forsyth
Councillor Alistair Forsyth

With the upcoming changes Councillor Alastair Forsyth has said that his regular monthly surgeries will move from Towie House to the Turriff Primary School Community Room. As published on the Aberdeenshire website he will be available for consultation in the Community Room at Turriff Primary School on the following Wednesdays from 10am - 10.30am: - 1st May, 5th June, 3rd July

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