In future don’t call us after 6pm says Cambs council as our contact centre will be shut

CALLERS to Cambridgeshire County Council can expect to wait longer and be more likely to abandon their call as a result of fresh cutbacks, says a report to Cabinet.

“The reduction in resource available will have a direct result in the service standards offered by the contact centre,” says the report. “Staffing stress levels will increase with an expected increase in absence.”

Councillors will be told this is the second year in succession that cuts will be made to the contact service.

Last year the council cut hours and now they are to be cut further with the centre closing weekdays at 6pm instead of 8pm.

Mark Andrew, the head of contact services, is hopeful for minimal impact and said the number of calls after 6pm had tailed off.

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The cuts are needed to cope with a budget reduction of �240,000 last year and �272,000 in the coming year although �120,000 is being made available internally to streamline some systems.

Mr Andrew said the report to Cabinet “set out what sort of things could happen but we’re aiming for them not to happen.”

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The report says the contact centre currently provides a management service for 34 separate service areas “and as such these service areas are also customers of the service being delivered for them to the public.”

Any call and from “any and all equality strands” can be covered says the report and key services, for example, could be around vulnerable adults and children together with calls about gritting wet weather or flooding.

Many other calls can be about Council Tax billing or from the many thousands who have a query on their local authority pension.

The report insists that “under extreme circumstances” contingencies will be made to cope with the most vulnerable of the council’s customers.

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