From 1 April 2020, Buckinghamshire’s residents will be able to get face-to-face help from council staff in one of 17 Council Access Points. Find the answers to some of the most frequently asked questions about Council Access Points below.
A trained staff member or volunteer will be available to answer common queries, help you use the computer/telephone and signpost you to relevant information. You will be able to use a computer and/or telephone to access all council services and information. At 'access plus' locations you will also be able to get more direct support and information about services such as housing and planning enquiries.
Council Access Points will be in place from 1 April 2020 when the new Buckinghamshire Council goes live.
Yes. There will people available to help with the most common questions at each access point.
No. Face-to-face customer support will be available during the advertised opening times for each location.
Staff in each Council Access Point will be able to answer the majority of questions and help you to find the information you need. Sometimes the nature of the enquiry will be more complex and need confidential discussions or specialist advice. This may be in the nearest access plus point, based in one of the current main council offices.
There will be 17 Council Access Points spread across the whole county. For most people their nearest Council Access Point will be within a few miles of where they live or work. For more details please click one of the links below:
We’ll be looking at adapting existing spaces in our buildings where we need to create a dedicated contact point.
All our frontline staff will be trained to answer the most common questions in the 17 Customer Access Points.
Council Access Points will be staffed by our customer service representatives who will be able to answer the vast majority of questions and provide on the spot help to most people. In the event that they are not able to offer customers a solution there and then, they will escalate or direct enquiries to the right place within Buckinghamshire Council.
We will use a mix of staff from county and community libraries and Buckinghamshire Council customer service staff. All staff will receive specific training on all council services of the new Buckinghamshire Council.
All staff working in the new access points will be given specific customer training designed and delivered to equip them to help answer most of the questions our residents will have about services in the new Buckinghamshire Council.
Local Council Access Points based at current libraries will be open during normal library hours. Opening times for libraries do vary. You will be able to check opening times on our website or at your local library. Some libraries are open at weekends. Council Access Plus points in the current main council offices in Aylesbury, High Wycombe, Amersham and Denham will be open during usual office working hours (9am to 5pm) every day from Monday to Friday. Our other customer channels may also help – call the main Buckinghamshire Council number during office hours, and our customer service representatives will put you through to speak to the right person. If there are no times which are convenient, then if you have access to a smartphone or a computer, the Buckinghamshire Council website will be a good place to start to find information. We will also offer a webchat facility on the website.
We are looking at doing some minor building works where necessary in some proposed Council Access Point locations to provide a private space for confidential conversations. There will be private interview facilities at each of our access plus points, which are located in the current district and county offices in Aylesbury, High Wycombe, Amersham and Denham.
We know that town and parish council staff already have an important role in signposting residents to get access to services and we really value this. We will be sharing further briefing information with town and parish councils to help them to continue to signpost residents effectively. We’ll also offer frontline staff training for town and parish councils who would like it. For 1 April 2020 we have focused on making best use of the existing county and district buildings and library network. Longer term will be reviewing locations and working with town and parish councils to develop and support joint working where there is local demand and need.
Community Boards and Council Access Points are different aspects of how Buckinghamshire Council will ensure communities are at the heart of our work. Community Boards will enable Buckinghamshire Council councillors to work in partnership with local communities to take action to address local issues. Council Access Points will enable all residents to access council services through a network of 17 buildings across the county. Spread across the county, they are places where residents can go to get access to council services and face-to-face help and information from council staff.
We want to make it easy for Buckinghamshire's residents to access information about all services which are local to them. After 1 April 2020, the new council will work with partners such as the police, town and parish councils, voluntary organisations and other community groups to develop proposals for Community Access Points. These would provide residents with local access to community, council and partner services and are also intended to be used as community spaces.