- Leader of Huntingdonshire District Council
- United Kingdom
Huntingdonshire District Council has announced its intention to close its Customer Services Centres at St Neots,. HDC claim that a fall in demand for the Service to 8,000 residents each year is the result of users preferring to use the internet rather than visit the HDC.
Over the same period that resident visits have fallen, HDC has altered and reduced opening hours making use of the remaining Service difficult to access. Many users of the St Neots Customer Services Office pay Council Tax instalments which HDC advise can be paid by Direct Debit. Those residents who are in, or recovering from debt may not have bank accounts or basic bank accounts which do not allow Direct Debit Payments. Moreover, the elderly, vulnerable and poorest members of our community may not have access to, or difficulty using technology based services.
20%-25% of Huntingdonshire residents live in St Neots and Little Paxton area. The bus fare to Huntingdon based Customer Services is £8 per visit and would require many of our poorest residents to lose at least a half days pay.
HDC has a Planning Policy to concentrate new housing at large towns and a further policy to make social and affordable at least 40% of new homes - it is most likely these people will most need Customer Services support.
HDC has recently cut its support for Citizens Advice Bureau and the Disability, Information and Housing Service..The total saving to HDC of closing St Neots Customer Services and two other Offices is £30,000 each year.
We, the undersigned, ask HDC to reconsider closure of. St Neots Customer Services and the financial and social hardships this will impose on Cambridgeshire's largest and fastest growing population. And, consider costs and consequences to our elederly, vulnerable and poorest residents and consequential resident travel costs, costs of home visits to those with mobility and health difficulties and costs to both the Council and residents where non-payment arises as a result of the closure. .
The Petition against closure of HDC Customer Services in St Neots. petition to Leader of Huntingdonshire District Council was written by Barry Chapman and is in the category Local Government at GoPetition.