Thursday, 23 July 2009

Council’s face-to-face centres make their mark

The centres that give the people of Leeds face-to-face contact with their local council have been praised for providing excellent customer service to local residents.

Leeds City Council’s 15 One Stop Centres help customers with a range of issues, including housing, council tax, social services, refuse and highways. The centres have recently celebrated their 10th anniversary of serving the people of Leeds, and deal with over 420,000 customer enquiries a year.

The recent assessment was to measure whether the service’s Charter Mark accreditation, the national standard for excellence in customer service, would be renewed – and the centres passed with flying colours.

The Charter Mark demonstrates that an organisation listens to its customers and acts and delivers; involves the local community in the design and delivery of services; involves staff in the planning of services and allows them to put things right wherever possible; and continually acts to improve services.

This year, the centres were praised not only for continuing to deliver excellent customer service, but also for improvements in service delivery and performance. The inspector noted that the centres have “continued to maintain high standards of service delivery despite increased usage resulting from the economic recession”.

The centre in North Seacroft is now open on a Saturday morning for customer enquiries, the first time local residents have been able to get face to face council advice on a Saturday.

Councillor Richard Brett, leader of Leeds City Council and executive board member for customer services, said:
“This is great news for the staff at our One Stop Centres and shows that we are responsive to the needs of the communities we serve.
“These centres have been serving the people of Leeds for a decade now and continue to evolve and develop in ways that bring great benefits to the city.”

ENDS
For media enquiries, please contact:
Michael Molcher, Leeds City Council press office (0113) 224 3937
Email: michael.molcher@leeds.gov.uk