Mini town hall proves a success

The Chairman of Durham County Council ,Cllr Linda Marshall with Mary Readman, customer relations, Policy and performance manager with some of the staff from the new customer access centre and Clayport library
The Chairman of Durham County Council ,Cllr Linda Marshall with Mary Readman, customer relations, Policy and performance manager with some of the staff from the new customer access centre and Clayport library
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A “MINI TOWN HALL” shop for council services is open in Durham city centre.

The £230,000 customer access point in Millennium Square is in premises next to Clayport library left empty by the now-defunct Durham City Vision group.

The access point will be manned by eight staff offering access to the majority of council services, including housing, planning, council tax, bus passes and waste and recycling.

“One-stop shop is an over-used term,” said Terry Collins, Durham County Council’s director of neighbourhood services.

“We will never be able to fully answer every query, but we hope to be able to answer the majority of them and 
end the frustration people 
feel when they are sent to several places to get something done.

“I suppose you could call the access point a mini town hall that is also integrated with the library service.

“There will be a chain of access points around the county. We opened one in Crook last week and so far the response from users has been good.”

The access point replaces the housing office which used to be at the lower end of Claypath.

It will also offer some of the services of the tourist information centre which used to be on the opposite side of Millennium Square.

There are a range of maps and leaflets in the foyer of the access point.

Staff will answer questions from visitors, and offer them access to tourist websites and the county’s visitor information call centre.

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