Date set for City Council reception opening
The new Gloucester City Council reception will open its doors on Wednesday, July 31 to welcome people to the new modern space that will make easier to access the council’s services.
The new reception at 92-96 Westgate Street (on the corner with Three Cocks Lane) will be called The Gateway and is part of the Council’s drive to improve the quality of services to residents and make the Council more efficient.
It follows on from the successful introduction of an appointment system and extension to opening hours, which reduced waiting times and allowed residents to be seen on a specific date at a particular time rather than waiting.
The office on Westgate Street continues the programme of modernisation with the space designed to be more welcoming and allows residents to use a range of online services.
Customer service officers will be on hand to assist people and will be able to offer appointments to customers who need them.
The office has also been designed to help people with mental health issues or physical disabilities and there is an area set aside to keep young visitors occupied.
To facilitate the move from the council’s existing reception at Herbert Warehouse, it will be closed on July 30 and reopen again as normal on July 31 in Westgate Street.
The changes follow the city council’s recent relocation to the County Council’s offices in Shire Hall with the move intended to make savings, share resources, facilitate stronger joint working between the two authorities and make better use of the public sector’s assets.
The Gateway across the road from Shire Hall, will house the customer service centre on the ground floor, while some council business partners will occupy the floors above.
The council is also investing in IT and telephony systems to improve how it delivers services. The timing of this investment is linked to the move, but would have been necessary regardless.
Its previous base at the Herbert, Kimberley and Phillpotts Warehouse in Gloucester Docks is currently being marketed by Bruton Knowles and could be put to a number of different uses, including potentially a hotel, subject to the necessary consents.
The city council’s move is predicted to save at least £100,000 each year.
Councillor Hannah Norman, Cabinet Member for Performance and Resources, said: “Our residents expect to be able to deal with the council as they would any other modern organisation or business. This reception move helps to address that as it is more central, offers more modern facilities and will make it easier for people to access our online services. It also builds on our other improvements such as the extended opening hours and new appointments system, and we’ll be putting more services online so people can access them whenever, and from wherever they need to.”