Councillors have backed plans it is claimed will deliver better frontline help and advice to householders – but the move which will see a One Stop Shop shut has been criticised.
The first advice and support hub will be launched in Grangemouth’s One Stop Shop in July.
It will mean the closure of the One Stop Shop in Bo’ness in January – but anyone looking for a ‘face-to-face’ meeting with housing or finance staff will still be able to do that at a number of other facilities in the town including the local library, community education base in Bo’ness Academy and the recreation centre.
Customers wanting to pay their rent or council tax have been told they can use any of the town’s three post offices or 20 shops which have PayPoint machines.
The closure decision was attacked by the SNP.
Councillor David Alexander claimed that during the budget debate members had been given assurances all eight One Stop Shops were safe from cuts.
He told the executive: “This report contradicts that. We have been seriously misled.”
Members of the executive were told the ‘traditional’ One Stop Shop arrangement is no longer fit for purpose and feedback from the public supported that view.
If the Grangemouth hub is a success, two more will open to cover the west and central areas of the district.
Council leader Craig Martin said: “This will bring a huge benefit to those who need the most vital of our services most.”