The opening hours at the ‘Contact Wrexham’ could be reduced if proposals are passed by the Executive Board next week.
In a report due to go before the Board On Tuesday, it is proposed that the daily opening hours of the Contact Wrexham Centre on Lord Street are revised to meet footfall demand.
Contact Wrexham provides the Council’s corporate face to face facility, with staff trained to provide advice and information on the full range of council services with the most common services requested being Housing Benefits, Council Tax and Blue Badges. In 2013/14 over 56,000 customers visited Contact Wrexham for advice and information with a further 40,000 using the self service facilities.
At present the centre is open between 8:30am – 5:30pm, however if the recommendations are passed, the centre would be open between 9:00am – 4:30pm, Monday to Friday (excluding Thursday, where the centre would be open 10:30am – 5:30pm). This would begin as a six month pilot scheme that would start no later than September 2014.
Increasing resources at peak times and introducing a Saturday service were also options that were considered.
Within the report (which can be found on page 25 of the lengthy document) it states: “Opening between 8.30 and 5.30 stretches existing resources and reduces the availability of staff at peak times. It also makes it extremely difficult to continuously update the skills and knowledge of all staff to ensure the quality of service is maintained.”
The report also adds: “Data from the “footfall” counter used to monitor the numbers of customers and the times which they access the centre, suggests however that Contact Wrexham’s current opening hours are not aligned with customer demand.”
A breakdown of footfall shows that at peak times are between 9.30am and 3.00pm with an average of 34 customers accessing the centre every 30 minutes. However the report goes onto note that outside of these times, particularly before 9:00am and after 4:30pm an average of six customers use the facility every 30 minutes.
The full report will go before the Executive Board on Tuesday at 2pm.