Residents and businesses across Northamptonshire are being asked their views on the opening hours for customer services for the new West and North Northamptonshire Councils when they go live on 1 April next year.
The proposals focus on bringing current opening hours into line across the North and West, so the hours offered in Corby match Wellingborough and those in Northampton match Daventry. This does not effect out-of-hours and emergency services, which will still run 24 hours a day, on all 365 days of the year.
Residents and local businesses can give their views via the Future Northants Consultation Hub
The deadline for comments is Sunday 23 August.
The focus of the consultation is on targeting the available overall opening hours in the most convenient way to those who use them, as it would not be affordable to substantially increase the opening hours overall.
Once people's views have been gathered, they will be considered alongside responses from customer service staff and trade unions, as well as from partner organisations like the voluntary and community sector, and taken to councillors to help them make decisions for the future.
Should this public consultation result in potential changes then this will be part of an employee consultation through Trade Unions, so staff will be able to explore any impact on their working arrangements.
Richard Ellis, chief executive of South Northamptonshire Council, who is leading this piece of work on behalf of all eight councils in the County said: “More and more people are getting what they want from their local councils online, at any time of day, or day of the week, to fit in with their own working lives and family commitments.
"Many still prefer to use the phone though, or even see someone in person, and we really want to hear from local residents about which pattern of opening hours for council services would best suit them, so we can do our best to match those.”