A public gateway to council services
Gloucester City Council’s new reception area is helping more members of the public to find the information and services they need.
‘The Gateway’ opened its doors in 92-96 Westgate Street on 31 July after the city council’s reception moved from its base in the quays area to the new venue opposite Shire Hall, so it could be in a more central location.
It was given an ‘informal opening’ on Wednesday 11 December when staff were thanked by city council leaders for their hard work, commitment and enabling a smooth transition to the new site.
The move to The Gateway has seen a sharp increase in the number of calls and emails dealt with by the customer service team, compared to a year ago, as customers are encouraged to access services through other ways. The number of visitors has reduced as customers who need to see us now have pre-arranged appointments at a time convenient to them and reduces the time they have to wait to be seen.
In November 2018, there were 5,660 calls answered and 1,618 emails actioned, but in November 2019 those figures had risen to 6,171 calls and 3,981 emails – showing a rise of 8.63 per cent and 84.4 per cent. The number of appointments had fallen from 836 to 397 (-71.2 per cent). This is as a result of the council’s vision to become a more digital organisation where residents and customers can access services 24/7.
Cllr Hannah Norman, deputy leader of the city council and cabinet member for performance and resources, said: “Our customer service team are the gate keepers to the council and do a fantastic job at The Gateway helping the public and signposting them to the information available.
“The venue is clean, modern and ideally situated so people are finding it easier to visit and get the support they need. We are giving people the flexibility to access services 24/7 and the increase in calls and emails shows this is proving popular.”
The reception is open 9am - 5pm daily except for Wednesdays which is 10am - 5pm. To make an appointment for council services, call us on 01452 396 396. For council tax appointments you can call 01452 396 495 and for housing benefit appointments you can call 01452 396 440. You can also email firstname.lastname@example.org and find more information at www.gloucester.gov.uk