Shorter opening hours for council
Cherwell District Council headquarters at Bodicote House could be closed to members of the public on Wednesday mornings from 8.45am-9.45am after a recommendation was approved by the council’s executive on Monday evening.
Councillors voted in favour of the proposals which are designed to set aside time for staff team meetings which have become more difficult to organise since the council entered into a merger agreement with South Northamptonshire District Council in 2011.
The decision raised some debate amongst members.
Addressing the meeting, Councillor George Reynolds said: “I just feel we’re a public service and the idea that we’re shut for an hour for meetings will go down extremely badly.”
Councillor Nicholas Turner responded: “I have sympathy with Councillor Reynold’s views but the whole idea of this is that it stops meetings happening randomly so that officers can get together from across two or four sites to make sure they are giving out the right information and the right services to the public.
“At the moment teams sometimes meet at random times for example the Customer Services team, and sometimes people phone up and can’t get through because there’s a team meeting going on.
“This proposal makes for far more efficient working.”
Executive chairman Councilor Barry Wood said: “If the public actually see some drop in the level of services they need or want, and if that becomes self-evident, then this can be reviewed.”
The new opening times will take effect from April 1 subject to the agreement of South Northamptonshire District Council.
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Wednesday 19 June 2013
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