Council hubs in Stourport and Bewdley to close

Council hubs in Stourport and Bewdley to close

Council hubs in Stourport and Bewdley to close

First published in News
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Kidderminster Shuttle: Photograph of the Author by , Reporter

COUNCIL hub offices in Stourport and Bewdley will close meaning residents will be unable to enquire about council services face-to-face with staff in their own towns.

Wyre Forest District Council has confirmed the Worcestershire hubs in Stourport's High Street and Bewdley's Load Street will shut on Friday, August 29.

Council chiefs claim the move is as a result of a "significant decline" in usage, with the dwindling numbers meaning each individual visit costs the council £20.

It means residents of the two towns who need help with council services will need to find an alternative way to speak to customer service advisers. They will be able to use the hub office at Kidderminster Town Hall, go online to the council's website or contact the authority by telephone.

Conservative councillors Nathan Desmond, cabinet member for resources and transformation, said: "We have reviewed the levels of usage at both locations, which have been falling for the last two years.

"More recently, we have changed how we receive cash payments and Worcestershire County Council now requires all blue badges, bus passes and waste permits to be applied for online on its website.

"There has been a dramatic fall in the number of people using the two locations and the case for change is simply too compelling. Since January, Stourport has dealt with an average of fewer than 70 customers a month, while an average of just more than 120 customers a month has used the Bewdley office in May and June.

"The cost of running the two sites is about £50,000 a year meaning that each of these customer visits now costs the council about £20.

"We cannot justify keeping the two locations open when the council needs to save very significant sums of money as a result of Government grant reductions. Indeed, this change will allow us to continue to protect front-line services that local residents value most.

"There are about 50 locations across Wyre Forest where residents can make payments to the council using Post Offices and shops that offer PayPoint, which has made paying the council much more convenient and accessible to residents.

"There is a range of other ways of accessing services online or by telephone and Kidderminster Town Hall is only a relatively short bus or car journey away for any residents who wishes to speak to a customer service adviser face-to-face."

Comments (11)

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2:01pm Fri 4 Jul 14

Stephen Brown says...

So its the way the council operates that has forced the change of use? Exactly in the same way that community housing used the lack of visitors to offices in a similar sounding excuse.

It doesn't matter if your elderly, vulnerable, or don't use the internet - it's only a bus ride or car ride away. Oh, but the bus service has been cut and they charge to park. Marvelous! No mention of the impact on jobs? WFDC doing their best along with WCC to kill off what services are left and our towns.

“Nowadays people know the price of everything and the value of nothing.” Oscar Wilde.
So its the way the council operates that has forced the change of use? Exactly in the same way that community housing used the lack of visitors to offices in a similar sounding excuse. It doesn't matter if your elderly, vulnerable, or don't use the internet - it's only a bus ride or car ride away. Oh, but the bus service has been cut and they charge to park. Marvelous! No mention of the impact on jobs? WFDC doing their best along with WCC to kill off what services are left and our towns. “Nowadays people know the price of everything and the value of nothing.” Oscar Wilde. Stephen Brown
  • Score: 3

5:25pm Fri 4 Jul 14

Wagtail59 says...

There was a time when businesses and organisations were very serious about
providing customer service. Now it is regarded as an inconvenience with a cost attached to it.
There was a time when businesses and organisations were very serious about providing customer service. Now it is regarded as an inconvenience with a cost attached to it. Wagtail59
  • Score: 5

10:42pm Fri 4 Jul 14

CynicalSid says...

That’s it then! The end of the world is soon to be with us.

Bewdley & Stourport are about to self-destruct & implode with problems that can’t be sorted out via a telephone to the Council or a 10 minute journey to Kidderminster.
That’s it then! The end of the world is soon to be with us. Bewdley & Stourport are about to self-destruct & implode with problems that can’t be sorted out via a telephone to the Council or a 10 minute journey to Kidderminster. CynicalSid
  • Score: 10

10:48am Sat 5 Jul 14

stour67 says...

10 mins you having a laugh ,more like an hr what with the jams at foley park etc and lack of public transport.
10 mins you having a laugh ,more like an hr what with the jams at foley park etc and lack of public transport. stour67
  • Score: 1

9:19pm Sat 5 Jul 14

CynicalSid says...

stour67 wrote:
10 mins you having a laugh ,more like an hr what with the jams at foley park etc and lack of public transport.
Then

(i) Set off 50mins earlier or sit & enjoy the scenic view of new houses being built at Foley Park, or

(ii) Go another route, or

(iii) Jump on the next bus/taxi/bike heading towards Kidderminster and ironically sit in the same ‘jam’! or…

Ring them up and ask them about whatever it is you want to ask them!
[quote][p][bold]stour67[/bold] wrote: 10 mins you having a laugh ,more like an hr what with the jams at foley park etc and lack of public transport.[/p][/quote]Then (i) Set off 50mins earlier or sit & enjoy the scenic view of new houses being built at Foley Park, or (ii) Go another route, or (iii) Jump on the next bus/taxi/bike heading towards Kidderminster and ironically sit in the same ‘jam’! or… Ring them up and ask them about whatever it is you want to ask them! CynicalSid
  • Score: 3

4:28pm Sun 6 Jul 14

stour67 says...

And how much extra will that cost for people who are already short of money thanks to this government.And before anybody says it was the last gov,it was the great capitalist USA banks that crash causing this recession.
And how much extra will that cost for people who are already short of money thanks to this government.And before anybody says it was the last gov,it was the great capitalist USA banks that crash causing this recession. stour67
  • Score: -4

11:06pm Sun 6 Jul 14

CynicalSid says...

About £2 return or .20p phone call (ish).
About £2 return or .20p phone call (ish). CynicalSid
  • Score: 2

2:14pm Thu 10 Jul 14

FlipC - The Mad Ranter says...

Point 1: The hub in Stourport's High Street. What hub in High street, the only one I know of is the old CHG (post office) which closed ages ago. This makes the point of an "average of fewer than 70 customers a month" even more ludicrous. You can have an average of 70, or fewer than 70; fewer than an average means your average is wrong.

Finally, as others here have mentioned, this is typical business thinking from the Conservative Party - is it cost-effective? Not if it's a benefit. The hubs may only be visited by a few people, but chances are those are the ones who really need to visit one and won't be able to do so if they're moved.
Point 1: The hub in Stourport's High Street. What hub in High street, the only one I know of is the old CHG (post office) which closed ages ago. This makes the point of an "average of fewer than 70 customers a month" even more ludicrous. You can have an average of 70, or fewer than 70; fewer than an average means your average is wrong. Finally, as others here have mentioned, this is typical business thinking from the Conservative Party - is it cost-effective? Not if it's a benefit. The hubs may only be visited by a few people, but chances are those are the ones who really need to visit one and won't be able to do so if they're moved. FlipC - The Mad Ranter
  • Score: 0

9:20am Tue 29 Jul 14

Dave Donut says...

The average is fewer than 70. Quite straightforward.

I think it is you that is confused.
The average is fewer than 70. Quite straightforward. I think it is you that is confused. Dave Donut
  • Score: 0

9:33am Tue 29 Jul 14

Dave Donut says...

Give the public the benefit of some intelligence and please publish the customers per month for Stourport and Bewdley for the last 12 or 24 months rather than an apparently arbitrary selection of 'Stourport since January and Bewdley just May and June'. I would hope these figures are readily available, or have they only just started counting?!

It would then be possible to make some judgment on a pattern of usage to determine whether it was a seasonal blip or a long term trend.

Also please give a comparison to the £20 quoted by telling us what the cost per visit is for the Kidderminster hub.

It may cost £50,000 to operate the hubs, but a more relevant question is what would be the saving if they were closed?
Give the public the benefit of some intelligence and please publish the customers per month for Stourport and Bewdley for the last 12 or 24 months rather than an apparently arbitrary selection of 'Stourport since January and Bewdley just May and June'. I would hope these figures are readily available, or have they only just started counting?! It would then be possible to make some judgment on a pattern of usage to determine whether it was a seasonal blip or a long term trend. Also please give a comparison to the £20 quoted by telling us what the cost per visit is for the Kidderminster hub. It may cost £50,000 to operate the hubs, but a more relevant question is what would be the saving if they were closed? Dave Donut
  • Score: 0

1:03pm Tue 29 Jul 14

FlipC - The Mad Ranter says...

You're right I was wrong, the average itself is fewer than 70, it was just a poor expression to use. If the average is known just give it.

Curious if the zero visitors to the closed Stourport High Street hub skewed the figure though ;)
You're right I was wrong, the average itself is fewer than 70, it was just a poor expression to use. If the average is known just give it. Curious if the zero visitors to the closed Stourport High Street hub skewed the figure though ;) FlipC - The Mad Ranter
  • Score: 0

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