Sefton residents reminded that Council advisors continue to offer a helping hand
Residents across Sefton are being reminded that Council advisors are here to help them, as the Customer Services team reflects on the continued support it’s offered to its communities throughout the health crisis.
Whether it’s on the phone, online or at an in-person appointment, they can assist with a range of requests from how to claim free school meal vouchers to registering for Council Tax discounts and everything in between.
Since the start of the pandemic, more than 150 Customer Services staff have continued to offer help to Sefton’s residents, working from home as a successful virtual Contact Centre was brought into operation.
In that time more than 13,000 Covid-19 related enquiries have been dealt with including requests for food parcels, questions about testing and vaccinations, requests for help from businesses and those seeking Test & Trace self-isolation payments.
Customer Services teams have:
- Handled 251,000 telephone calls
- Issued 15,348 Business Support Grants worth £89.2 million
- Paid £910,000 to Sefton-licensed taxi drivers and processed around 9,500 online licence renewals
- Given out 4,813 payments for emergency help such as food provision and essential household items
- Awarded 2,701 Discretionary Housing Payments to support those struggling with rents and bills
- Amended 105,000 Council Tax records including discounts to those eligible for support
Cllr Paulette Lappin, Cabinet Member for Regulatory, Compliance and Corporate Services, said:
“Despite the continued effects of the pandemic, our Customer Services staff are very much here and available to support any Sefton resident that needs assistance with one of our services.
“Over the past year and a half, the team has worked incredibly hard to maintain continuity in helping people and businesses throughout such challenging times. They have made thousands of calls to the most vulnerable people in our communities and worked alongside key Council teams to ensure that financial support was processed quickly to support residents, businesses and workers like taxi drivers.”
During the pandemic, the Bootle One Stop Shop was one of the first customer service centres in the region to re-open safely to ensure that appointments could be prioritised for those who needed in-person support. More than 2,900 appointments have been offered throughout the pandemic.
The Council’s One Stop Shop in Southport is now also open for pre-booked appointments for those who would prefer face-to-face support. Based at The Atkinson in Southport, appointments are available Monday to Friday between 11am and 4pm. On Stanley Road the Bootle One Stop Shop has appointments available every Monday to Friday between 10am and 4pm.
Cllr Paulette Lappin added:
“We take pride in offering high levels of customer service to our communities across the Borough and despite the difficult challenges of the health crisis, we’ve actually retained our Customer Service Excellence standard.
“The standard demonstrates our commitment to a customer-focussed culture across our service. We strive to listen to our customers views about the service provided, and when possible, use their feedback to make changes to the way that we operate.
“Our focus is on timeliness and quality of service to ensure the best possible result for customers. So, anyone living in Sefton that needs our support, should not be afraid to get in touch whether that’s online, on the phone or in person, we are here to help you.”
People can contact Sefton Council in many ways:
- Using the online contact form
- Following Sefton Council on Facebook and sending a message via Facebook messenger
- Sending a Tweet or direct message on the Sefton Council Twitter Page
- Chatting to an advisor via Web Chat
- Phoning the Contact Centre on 0345 140 0845, currently open Monday to Thursday – 9am to 5.30pm and Fridays – 9am to 5pm
Full details and ways to contact Sefton Council can be found on the dedicated webpage: www.sefton.gov.uk/miscellaneous-pages/contact-the-council