Relocating Customer Services Face to Face Services to the Westgate Library - Pilot Scheme
Decision Maker: Executive Director (Development)
Decision status: Implemented
Is Key decision?: No
Is subject to call in?: No
The co-location of the City Council’s face to face customer services with those of the County Council in the Westgate Library, as a pilot project.
To relocate the City Council’s customer services centre from the ground floor of St Aldate’s Chambers to the Westgate Library, and enter into a 12 months’ licence with Oxfordshire County Council to support this move.
The project is a pilot, but if successful is intended to continue beyond the initial 12 months.
The total cost of the move is estimated to be no more than £5300. This includes disposal and provision of furniture, moving and set up costs. This cost it to be met from the Capital Reserve.
A 12 month licence fee, with a break from 3 months, with 1 month notice, has been agreed with the County Council. Citizen Advice Oxford will to continue to co-locate with the City Council at the Westgate Library, and will contribute to the licence fee on a proportional basis.
This licence fee amount is deemed to be confidential as it is commercially sensitive. This is set out in a confidential appendix to this report.
The pilot will be subject to on-going evaluation, including customer and staff feedback from the City and County Councils. Should the pilot not be successful then the Council will revert to provision of its own customer services centre.
Reasons for the decision:
This pilot is aimed at delivering improved services to residents by co-locating more face to face customer services provision in one place. This should be more convenient for residents, as well as providing opportunities for more effective triage and co-ordination between services.
Alternative options considered:
The alternative options considered were:
1). The City Council customer service centre remaining at St Aldates Chambers. This does not provide the opportunities from colocation, nor the flexibility for the Council in relation the use of its own office accommodation.
2). The City Council customer service centre moves to the Town Hall. This also does not provide the colocation benefits. However, does remain an option should the pilot not work and the current ground floor space at St Aldates Chambers is required for another use. The detailed design and planning for this option will continue as a Plan B.
Signed off by senior officers:
Decision taken by the Executive Director Development in consultation with the Head of Business Improvement; the Head of Financial Services; the Head of Law and Governance; the Leader of the Council; the Deputy Leader (Statutory) – Finance and Asset Management; and the Portfolio Holder for Customer Services.
Publication date: 26/01/2022
Date of decision: 26/01/2022