Temporary closure of face-to-face customer contact centres
Allerdale Borough Council’s customer contact centres in Workington, Cockermouth, Keswick, Maryport and Wigton will close today [March 23] until further notice to help tackle the spread of coronavirus.
The decision has been made to limit face-to-face contact in council buildings to protect the health and wellbeing of our customers and council employees, and help ensure our resource are used to carry out the council's core services and the extra tasks required due to the coronavirus outbreak.
Offices will close with immediate effect for the foreseeable future, however, the decision will be reviewed in the coming weeks.
Residents in Allerdale are being encouraged to use digital methods to contact the council where possible, to avoid having to wait on the telephone. There are a range of services readily available on the authority’s website – www.allerdale.gov.uk - and through the myAllerdale mobile app. There is also a webchat facility on the council’s website.
The council’s website is open 24/7 and the “Report It” forms allow customers to let the council know about issues and obtain information at a time which is convenient for them.
Customers can also use the website to check their eligibility for housing and council tax benefits, make an application, as well as access their benefit and council tax account. Just go to www.allerdale.gov.uk/en/benefits/ and follow the links. This service is also available for landlords with tenants on housing benefit.
More information to help businesses and residents who have been impacted by the coronavirus outbreak can also be found on the council's website at www.allerdale.gov.uk/coronavirus .
Payments can also be made online or via the council’s automated payment line 0303 123 1702. This number can also be used if customers would like to speak to a customer service advisor.
By downloading the myAllerdale app customers can also have many of these services available to them in the palm of your hand. The app is compatible with Apple and Android phones, and customers should just search for ‘Allerdale’ on their app store and then register for an account.
Anyone facing financial hardship or potentially being made homeless should contact the council on 0303 123 1702.
A council spokesman said: “The severity of the coronavirus outbreak is plain for all to see and we would encourage all residents to follow the government’s advice about social distancing and self-isolating.
“The council is doing what it can to limit the impact of this serious situation on the public and limiting face-to-face contact is part of that response.
“We apologise to anyone affected by this decision but as it is becoming more widespread, and we know more people will need to self-isolate and/or will contract the virus we are determined to deliver the best service we can. We have taken this decision to protect our residents, staff and the community.”
Cllr Alan Pitcher, Executive member for customer experience and innovation, said: “The government’s advice surrounding social distancing and the need for many members of our community to self-isolate is clear. As a council we’re doing our bit to protect our staff and our residents while doing our best to keep offering our key services.”