Extra hours at council HQ - have your say!
Published on 6th January 2012
Sandwell’s council HQ is to open up longer to make life easier for residents.
And now they have a chance to say what extra opening hours they would like.
Council chiefs aim to open the Council House, Oldbury, on one evening a week and for part of the weekend.
They want to give families more time to pop in, take advice and access services.
But before they decide exactly when the Council House will stay open, they will ask people when they would prefer.
Councillor Mahboob Hussain, Sandwell's Cabinet member for service improvement, said: "The world is changing and lots of people work more flexible hours these days.
"That means they need their council to be more flexible.
"We already offer a range of services online so residents can, for example, pay their council tax, report a pothole or request a bulky waste collection 24 hours a day.
"Now we want to make things easier for people popping into the Council House by giving them extra time to do so.
"The One Stop Shop which handles their queries there is currently open from 8am to 5.30pm Monday to Thursday and to 5pm on Fridays.
"We have recently moved both Education Services and our Planning and Building Consultancy into the One Stop Shop in order to offer more, better quality services to our customers in one place.
"We will be consulting with residents to see which night of the week - and when over the weekend -- they would also like it to be open."
Councillor Hussain added: "The One Stop Shop offers a range of services from payment of council tax, rent and other bills to dealing with housing and council tax benefit.
"We will also be asking residents which other services they would find most useful."
Residents have until 31 January to have their say.
Council chiefs will then consider views before launching the extra opening hours.
Other Sandwell services already available outside normal office hours include seven-days-a-week burials and cremations and Sandwell Register Office at Highfields, West Bromwich, which is available for weddings and other ceremonies during weekends and public holidays as well as weekdays.
Residents can have their say by:
- Completing our online survey or
- Phoning 0121 569 3966.