Centre could close as part of cost cuts

SWINTON Customer Service Centre could be closed as part of a cost-cutting measure by Rotherham Council.

A range of council services offered at the town centre facility, such as council tax and benefits enquiries, would be transferred over to the library next door.

Drop in sessions would be offered as a replacement two days a week.

It is also planned to extend council services available at nearby Wath Library.

The South Yorkshire Times understands four jobs are at risk at the centre, which is currently open five days a week.

A public consultation has now been launched on the proposal, which could save Rotherham Council £80, 000.

The council’s cabinet agreed that the public’s views should be sought after a report into the usage of the council’s six customer service centres revealed that changes in location of both the Swinton and Dinnington centres would save money.

Councillor Amy Rushforth, cabinet member for culture and tourism, who is responsible for libraries and customer service centres, said: “Although we have tried to offer the same level of access to all customers at each of our service centres it has become evident that demands for some services are greater in certain communities than others.

“So it makes sense to create more ‘one-stop shops’ in existing buildings, particularly libraries, which are already well used community hubs.

“This would be far better for the public, and make better use of the council’s resources.”

As part of the proposed changes, customers will be able to pay for council services using a payment machine which will be installed in Wath Library.

In addition, customers will be able to bid for council properties, apply for Rothercards and request council services online during library opening hours.

A Rotherham Council spokeswoman said any potential impact on jobs will be assessed following the consultation.

The public can comment online at www.rotherham.gov.uk/consultation from Monday, February 4.

The consultation ends on Friday, March 22, when a further report will be presented to the cabinet.