Halifax's Customer First to remain shut to staff and customers

The Customer First service in Halifax will remain shut Calderdale Council has confirmed.

Tuesday, 20th July 2021, 10:31 am
Updated Tuesday, 20th July 2021, 10:32 am
Customer First in Horton Street, Halifax (Google Street View)

The Council has said even before the pandemic the number of face-to-face services provided by the Council’s Customer First teams had reduced significantly, and a wider range of support had started to be provided in libraries and neighbourhood offices within local communities.

For most of the pandemic, the Council has not been able to provide face-to-face services to customers for safety reasons, as part of its ongoing commitment to protecting people and reducing the spread of the virus.

The Council has said many people have embraced the move to more digital services, preferring to access services remotely over the phone, on the Council’s website or via live chat, at times to suit them.

The local authority will now continue to develop its online services and has introduced customer service support at Halifax Central Library for those that need help with online applications and other simple service enquiries.

This will extend to Todmorden Library later this month, with other hub libraries offering support by appointment as demand requires.

Customer First at Horton Street in Halifax closed on 24 March 2020 due to the pandemic, and will remain closed to customers and staff as part of the Future Council and the office accommodation strategy.

Frontline customer access teams are continuing to work remotely.

Councillor Jenny Lynn, Calderdale Council’s Cabinet Member for Public Services and Communities, said: “We want all local people to reach their potential and live the fullest possible life, which is at the heart of our Vision2024 for Calderdale. The pandemic has given us the opportunity to look at how we can best support our residents, especially those who are most vulnerable.

“Although our significant shift to digital services in 2020 was initially driven by COVID-19 restrictions, we’ve learned that some services work better this way, are welcomed by customers, save money and help tackle the climate emergency.

“We now know we can provide an improved service without needing to operate from Customer First offices, but we do offer the option of face-to-face contact where necessary through our hub libraries.

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