Council’s transformed reception area will be open next month

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A NEW reception area at Arun District Council’s Civic Centre will be open for business early in the New Year after being completely transformed.

Work to make the reception more streamlined is part of a major project to reorganise the accommodation at Arun District Council headquarters in Littlehampton.

With the 25th anniversary of the opening of the building approaching, it was decided to undertake the work in order to provide a more efficient service for Arun residents and to reduce the running costs.

The new reception area is now set to throw open its doors on Monday January 10.

In the meantime, residents who need to visit the Civic Centre are asked to continue entering the building by the side entrance which is clearly signposted.

The delay is to ensure staff will have enough time to familiarise themselves with new systems and for all systems checks to be done, so the best customer service possible can be offered in the very busy post-Christmas period.

When open, the reception area will have for the very first time service desks delivering planning, housing, revenue and benefits and a general enquiry point in one location in the Civic Centre.

Staff working at a central enquiry point will guide customers to the specific desk they need, or they can use an automated queuing system to get to the right reception desk quickly.

There will also be waiting areas furnished with comfortable seating, private interview rooms and improved access for wheelchairs and pushchairs.

Information collated by the new queuing system will enable the council to monitor how many people are using which services and help to identify how they can be served more efficiently in the future.

Cllr Paul Dendle, Cabinet Member, said: “Despite the snow, our staff and contractors have worked around the clock to keep the redevelopment on schedule and the building work will be completed by January 4 exactly as planned. We have made the decision to delay the opening for just working four days so staff can fully familiarise themselves with the revamped area and ensure everything is ready to receive the first customers.“