Longer opening hours
Published on 27th September 2012
Sandwell Council House is to open up longer in a bid to make life easier for residents to report problems and pay bills.
The decision has been made because deputy council leader Councillor Mahboob Hussain said the council needed to be more flexible to meet the demands of the modern world.
The Council House in Oldbury, will now be open late on a Wednesday until 7pm and on a Saturday from 10am to 1pm.
The plan is to give families more time to pop in, take advice and access services.
The new scheme will be run as a pilot for for six months to see how popular it is with residents.
The money to run the new scheme, which will start next month(OCT), will be met from existing resources in the council budget.
It will be carried out on a six-month trial period to see if the new opening hours are popular with residents.
Councillor Hussain 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.
"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."
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.