The reopening of Allerdale Borough Council’s contact centres has been delayed as the authority continues to make customer and staff safety a priority.
Face-to-face services at council offices were closed in March due to Government guidelines surrounding the coronavirus with customers using online methods and the phone to contact the council since then.
The council’s Wigton office reopened at the beginning of September on an appointment-only basis and it was planned for the other customer contact centres at Allerdale House in Workington, Maryport Town Hall, Cockermouth Library and Keswick Town Hall to then reopen in phases once the necessary Covid-19 secure measures had been put in place.
However, those plans have been delayed due to the tightened Covid-19 guidelines and the current rise in infection rates.
With this in mind, the council wants to help protect customers by encouraging them to access services online or over the phone to avoid unnecessary face-to-face contact.
Cllr Alan Pitcher, Executive member for customer experience and innovation, said: “The safety of our staff and customers is our absolute top priority and that’s why we’ve decided to hold off on reopening our other contact centres at the moment.
“We know that many of the people who use these facilities tend to be in the older demographic who are most at risk from Covid-19, and we have a duty to protect them from any potential risks.
“I’d like to also take this opportunity to thank our dedicated customer services team for their hard work, particularly during the Covid-19 pandemic with all the challenges that has presented to us.
“It’s a testament to their talent that in customer satisfaction surveys carried out across this period it’s been recorded that 89 percent of customers surveyed were satisfied or highly satisfied with the service they received when contacting us.
“Despite the offices remaining closed for the time being the customer services team remain on hand to help.”
It is anticipated that the decision will be reviewed in January.
People can access a range of services through the council’s website at https://www.allerdale.gov.uk/ while those without internet access can call the customer services team 0303 123 1702 for assistance.