Council Appointment Hub Set to Make City Centre Move

Gloucester City councillors are set to give the green light to the council’s appointment area moving to the Eastgate Shopping Centre, making it more accessible and saving taxpayers money.

The move would make it easier for residents to attend face to face appointments and is set to save taxpayers around £80,000 annually in reduced running costs.

At The Gateway on Westgate Street opposite Shire Hall, residents can arrange to see staff if they can’t solve their query over the phone or by email.

The new appointment area would be opposite the council’s offices on the first floor of the shopping centre, which is already owned by the council. 

If given the go ahead at next month’s cabinet, the move would take place in 2024.

Since the pandemic the appointment system brought in to reduce waiting times has seen the need for a large appointment area fall, as demand for face to face appointments has dropped sharply.

The majority of residents who contact the council say they prefer to do it over the phone, online or by email, with just 92 out of a possible 510 face to face appointments being booked in the last year, and only 79 appointments being attended.

The change has also improved the service for both staff and residents with the number of reports of abuse towards staff reduced and improved customer confidentiality.

Councillor Hannah Norman, deputy leader and cabinet member for Performance and Resources, said: “This will not only save money that could be better invested elsewhere it’s also easier for people to get to their appointments so it’s a win-win. Customers have overwhelmingly told us that they prefer to contact us over the phone or by email but with this proposal they have the option of face to face appointments if they’re needed.”