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Flintshire Connects officially opened

Published: 23/05/2014

Flintshire Connects, the second centre offering first class customer service and advice for council customers has been officially opened in Flint. Lesley Griffiths AM, Minister for Local Government and Government Business and Councillor Bernie Attridge, Deputy Leader of Flintshire County Council cut the ribbon on Friday 16 May at a ceremony in front of local politicians and community leaders, council officers, North Wales Police and Jobcentre Plus staff. The Flintshire Connects centres are being rolled out by Flintshire County Council as part of its customer service improvement programme, to provide improved access to council services at convenient town centre locations. Customers are able to meet with customer service advisors who can provide information, answer questions, deal with service requests and provide assistance across all council services including housing, Streetscene, welfare benefits and advice, Blue Badges, Concessionary Travel and Council Tax. They also promote partnership working with North Wales Police and Jobcentre Plus, whose staff are also situated in the centres providing a joined-up network of organisations to local residents. Local Government and Government Business Minister, Lesley Griffiths said: “Flintshire Connects will improve access for the people of Flint to a host of public services. “During my tour of Local Authorities last summer, I witnessed some excellent examples of collaboration. This was evident at the Flintshire Connects hub in Holywell where County Council services have been brought together under one roof alongside partners including Job Centre Plus and North Wales Police to deliver a successful joined-up service. “I am pleased Welsh Government funding is supporting the Local Authority in delivering this initiative which will now benefit the people it serves in Flint. Councillor Bernie Attridge, Deputy Leader said: “Once again Flintshire County Council is successfully working in partnership with North Wales Police and Jobcentre Plus to provide people with locally accessible services all under one roof. It is really important that customers have to option to talk face to face to council service advisors and Flintshire Connects gives residents this opportunity. “This follows the success of our first centre in Holywell, and it makes sense that local organisations work together to offer the best services possible.” Julian Sandham, the North Wales Deputy Police and Crime Commissioner, said: “Flintshire Connects is a great idea to create a one-stop shop to ensure people have easier access to a whole range of public services, including the police. “This initiative accords perfectly with a key objective of our Police and Crime Plan to foster more collaboration and partnership working between the various agencies in North Wales. It will provide simpler and more joined up access to services in a modern and welcoming environment which can only be a good thing for everybody concerned.” John Bisby, District Manager, North and Mid Wales Jobcentre Plus said: “This is a major step forward in the modernisation of our services in Flintshire. The co-located service in this site will improve the digital access of the majority of our customers, whilst still providing critical face to face support to those who need it.” The centre is located on the ground floor of County Offices, in Church Street, directly opposite from the library and is open from 8.30am to 6pm Monday to Friday and 9am to 12 noon on Saturday. North Wales Police are scheduled to hold policing surgeries every Friday between 10am – 12 noon and will trial a front counter service in the afternoon. A new self service payment machine has also been installed which will enable payment of any County Council account and will enable members of both the Flintshire Credit Union and the North Wales Credit Union to make payments. Flintshire Connects Customer Service Advisors will be on hand to assist customers use these new machines. Another two centres will be opening this year with Flintshire Connects Connahs Quay opening summer 2014 and Flintshire Connects Buckley opening later in 2014 taking the total number of Flintshire Connects Centres to four. Photo caption L-R: Cllr Carolyn Thomas, John Bisby District Manager North and Mid Wales Jobcentre Plus, Colin Everett Chief Executive Flintshire County Council, Julian Sandham North Wales Deputy Police and Crime Commissioner, Lesley Griffiths AM, Cllr Bernie Attridge Deputy Leader Flintshire County Council, North Wales Police Chief Constable Mark Polin.