One Stop Shop opens
A NEW One Stop Stop will start making life easier for residents in Alexandria, say council chiefs.
Alexandria's One Stop Shop will hold information on a huge range of Council information and services and opened its doors for the first time on Monday.
The service is based in the former Housing Office in Mitchell Way, which has been transformed into a modern and welcoming venue boasting access to more than 30 Council services under one roof.
Councillor Craig McLaughlin, said:, "I'm delighted to see this project which has been five years in the making come to fruition and I am sure everyone who visits the new office will see the benefits of having access to a range of Council services under the one roof .
"The One Stop Shops will make accessing Council information as convenient as possible in a pleasant, modern environment and residents can expect the same knowledge and efficient services they would get by visiting our Council headquarters but now in a much more convenient location to them."
Inside residents can use self serve machines to pay for things like council tax, housing rent and pest control, or use PCs to access online services such as planning, housing repairs and leisure bookings.
However, the new service has not been welcomed by all, with some elderly residents worried about using the new machines.
Eva McKellar, chairwoman of Age Concern Vale of Leven, said: "I don't think it's a very good idea.
"It's just another thing for elderly people to be worried about. They are finding it hard enough to keep up with the changes that are coming in.
"I go into the supermarket and I don't see any elderly people in those supermarkets using those machines to check out.
"It's another wee bit they've taken away, they are chipping away and chipping away, it's as if they don't consider the elderly at all."
However, the council says highly skilled staff will be on hand to assist with various requests, and if it is a complex case then residents can discuss it in detail in one of the confidential meeting rooms, where staff can also arrange for officers from other buildings to come up to the One Stop Shop for face to face meetings to find solutions to resident's problems.
The One Stop Shop in Alexandria is the first of three planned in West Dunbartonshire as part of the Council's £200,000 investment to improve customer services. Offices in Dumbarton and Clydebank are expected to open later in the year.
This article appeared in Dumbarton & Vale of Leven Reporter 04 Apr 12
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