Concerns raised over Customer First cuts

Residents are concerned that reducing the hours of the Customer First office will reduce footfall in the town.

Calderdale Council is proposing to change the hours the office based at Brighouse Civic Hall is open. It is proposed to open Monday, Thursday and Friday between 9.30am and 4.30pm but there will be a self payment cash kiosk.

But residents at Brighouse Ward Forum were worried the footfall will be affected because when people come down to pay their bills they will often go for a wander around the town. Councillor Colin Stout (Ind, Brighouse) agreed and said for some it was their only day out.

Resident Pat Oates said: “I don’t see why it can’t open at 9am because that is when I am down. I don’t want to be thinking should I come back because you can’t always find somewhere to park.”

But Wendy Brough, Customer First manager said the opening hours have been based on the usage of the service.

Councillor Stout said he was disappointed that the town could lose more council services. He was also concerned about the closure at lunchtime.

“We are more than happy to revisit that lunchtime closure,” said Ms Brough. “If people do come up with solutions to improve the proposal but still make the savings then please do contact us.”

Councillor Scott Benton (Con, Brighouse) said people need to put their views down so they can be taken into account.

The consultation will run until April 29.