From Monday 8 August 2016 Torbay Council Connections service will be centralised and will only be operating from Paignton Library and Information Centre. Torquay and Brixham Connections offices will be closing their doors at 5 pm on Friday 5 August.
Following a Council decision in May it was identified that Paignton Library and Information Centre is ideally located for the council’s Connections service as the transport links are good, with the bus station, train station and parking available close by. It was also agreed at Council that by basing a Connections office in the same centre as the library and other services, this will continue to support the concept of Paignton Library and Information Centre becoming a community hub for residents.
Cllr Richard Haddock, Executive Lead for Business Services, said: “We are less than a week away from the closure of Torquay and Brixham Connections offices and I urge residents to make sure they are aware of where, and how, they can access our services. If residents are unable to visit the Paignton Library and Information Centre the council can be reached either online, by telephone or by using the self service points which will be set up in Torquay and Brixham libraries.
“We have mentioned before that we are having to continually streamline and improve our services, which is why we are looking at all of our services to ensure what we deliver is done so efficiently and effectively. The impact of this closure will be monitored, and if needed the services provided in the Torquay and Brixham Libraries will be amended.”
Residents who usually visit the Torquay and Brixham offices, and who cannot travel to Paignton Connections, will still be able to contact Torbay Council in a number of different ways. These include online, using the council’s website, or by telephone. Free phones will also be available in Torquay and Brixham Libraries to enable residents to contact council services.
Online services can be accessed easily and images and document information can be uploaded to provide supporting evidence for Housing Benefit and Council Tax applications. This can be done at http://www.torbay.gov.uk/benefitsproof
For customers who are required to submit supporting evidence and information, but are unable to travel to Paignton, there will be self service points in Torquay and Brixham Libraries. There will be a range of hard copy applications forms available to collect and there will also be secure document boxes that they can be returned. Documents will be returned to customers by post. Cheque payment boxes will be stationed at both libraries.
There will also be a computer available for customers in Torquay Library where online applications and transactions can be undertaken free of charge. If you are a library member you can also use a range of computers in Torquay and Brixham Libraries free of charge.
A pre-booked appointment service will also be available for customers who are unable to resolve their enquiry over the phone or online. These appointments will be with a member of the Connections team within Brixham and Torquay Library on one day per week.
Torbay Council can be contacted by:
• Website – www.torbay.gov.uk
Housing Options – 01803 208723
Housing Benefits & Council Tax Support – 01803 207201
Council Tax – 01803 207201
Business Rates – 01803 207201
Community Safety – 01803 208025
Electoral Services- 01803 208008
Crisis Support – 0800 9176832 (Free phone)
Parking – 01803 207695
Main Switchboard – 01803 201201
The Connections office within Paignton Library and Information Centre will be open Monday to Friday from 9 am until 5 pm.