The customer access point for Babergh District Council is moving to Sudbury Library to help provide digital support and face to face services.
It will relocate to the library, situated on Market Hill, from April.
Residents who have difficulty accessing council services online or over the phone will continue to be catered for by the new offer, co-designed with Suffolk Libraries. Council staff will be available for face-to-face visits, two full days a week, every week – ensuring customers receive the help they need at an accessible, central, location.
Library staff will offer support throughout the week, signposting to further information or helping customers with urgent council enquiries, through a variety of channels including phone calls, virtual appointments, and tablet and laptop devices.
Staff will also help customers who wish to develop their digital skills – putting council information and services at their fingertips 24/7 – while also connecting them with other library services and groups.
The move reflects the increasing numbers of people choosing to contact the council digitally. Discussions are now underway with the existing Sudbury Town Council Advice Centre staff over transferring to the new service.
By building on Babergh’s existing partnership with Suffolk Libraries, with their pop-up style customer access points in Hadleigh and Shotley, the council says it can continue to deliver face-to-face services, and better value for money for Babergh taxpayers.
Lee Parker, Babergh District Council’s cabinet member for customers, digital transformation and improvement, said: “While many residents now expect 24/7 access to council information and services, we are determined that no one will be left behind – and we remain committed to helping those who need face to face contact.
“This new service, co-designed with Suffolk Libraries, provides us with an opportunity to re-shape our services in line with our customers changing lifestyles, but also ensure we are still there in person for those who need us.
“By tapping into Suffolk Libraries’ digital skills support and experience, we can help residents gain valuable access to information and support; while also connecting them to other library services.”
The council is also developing its own digital support programme to build on the plans, and help improve digital skills and access to IT across the district. Further details will become available over the coming year.
Bruce Leeke, Suffolk Libraries CEO, said: “We’re delighted to be working in partnership with the council to ensure local people can still access vital services. We know similar partnerships in other libraries have worked well providing a crucial touchpoint for support and information at the heart of the community.
“Many people in Sudbury will already be familiar with visiting the library for a range of services and activities. This new and comprehensive offer will further increase local connectivity making it easier for people to access what they need when they need it.”
The council will continue to monitor service demand with the library and ensure it meets customers’ needs.