Solihull Connect advice centres slash opening hours - The Solihull Observer

Solihull Connect advice centres slash opening hours

Solihull Editorial 7th Aug, 2019   0

SOLIHULL Council advice centres offering help to the public have slashed opening hours.

Opening times have been reduced at all three centres for ‘Solihull Connect’.

It provides face-to-face support at the walk-in centres, and telephone and digital advice via a contact centre.

‘Solihull Connect’ offers a point of access for users of council and charity services across the three borough locations.

Council chiefs say the ‘trial changes’ were introduced on Saturday (August 3) in response to ‘altered customer demand’.

Face-to-face services at the Core, Solihull town centre, and the Bluebell Centre in Chelmsley Wood mall, will now stay open half an hour less from 9am (10am on Wednesdays) to 4.30pm while Saturday services – from 9am to 1pm – have been scrapped entirely.

A reduced face-to-face service at Shirley Library will only open from 9.30am (10am on Wednesdays) till 3pm every day.

There will no longer be any Saturday face-to-face services at the three sites.

The Bluebell Centre is also home to the contact centre, which has reduced its opening hours by half an hour at the start and end of each day. It will now open from 9am to 5pm.

People will still be able to access services online or self-serve at the kiosks located within the walk-in centres.

Cabinet Member for Safer and Stronger Communities Councillor Alison Rolf said: “We are continually looking at how we can make our services more efficient and meet customer demand.

“People are moving towards self-serve facilities and digital methods to access the information they need, therefore we need to make sure our resources are used in the most efficient way to meet the needs of our residents.

“While the majority of residents choose to contact us digitally or use the self-serve machines, there are some that still like to talk to an advisor in person or over the phone and this cannot be undervalued.”

During the trial, feedback will be gathered from people, which will help inform the service’s future.

The council says the out-of-hours emergency contact will not be affected and services required outside of the revised operating hours will be available for self-service digitally.

The ‘underused’ service based in Shirley Library was set to be scrapped. But concessions were agreed after a furious response from several councillors.

Full details can be found at


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