Calderdale’s new state-of-the-art Customer First centre was officially opened by the Mayor of Calderdale on Wednesday 13 November.
Council staff, councillors and people from a range of organisations gathered to celebrate the new centre, where local people can get help and advice from a team of dedicated customer service advisors, all under one roof instead of having to go to several different buildings as before. The centre opened its doors to customers on Monday 11 November.
The Mayor, Cllr Ann Martin, cut the ribbon on Wednesday to mark the official opening, accompanied by two young people who work for Customer First – Tomas Kompus, an apprentice who speaks fluent Czech and Slovak; and Eleanor Smith, who started as an apprentice seven months ago and is now a permanent employee. Seven apprentices work there in total, supporting the Council’s strategy to create 4040 completed apprenticeships by 2020.
Calderdale Council’s Cabinet Member for Communities, Cllr Steve Sweeney said:
“I’m delighted that our brand new Customer First centre is now open and getting glowing feedback. The reception area is bustling and people are enjoying quick, high-quality service from a mixture of face-to-face advice, access to Calderdale Council and other organisations’ websites and high-tech self-service kiosks where bills can be paid. Advice and information ranges from housing and benefits to planning and licensing.
“We’ve been working hard to make sure people can contact us in the way that’s best for them, and the new Customer First centre is the final piece in the jigsaw. We’ve improved our website so that it offers a whole range of services 24/7. Through the website you can apply for benefits, licences or parking permits; report dog fouling or fly-tipping; set up a direct debit to pay your council tax or even renew or reserve a library book. If you’d rather speak to someone our contact centre is there to take your calls, and people can now visit our new Customer First centre. West Yorkshire Police, DWP, Job Centre Plus, Pennine Housing and Citizens Advice Bureau are also available to see customers there.”
Calderdale Council’s Cabinet Member for Economy and Environment, Cllr Barry Collins added:
“I’m thrilled that after lots of hard work, the new Customer First centre is now up and running. It’s part of the major changes underway in Halifax town centre – including the development of the new library and archive and the Piece Hall transformation – and will make a real difference to local people. It’s also great to see young people working there and being given valuable work experience and preparation for long-term jobs, as is the case across the Council.”
Farzana Bi, a customer service advisor working at the new Customer First centre, said:
“The new Customer First centre is a brilliant place to help customers, and customer feedback has been really positive. I love working here; it’s a pleasure to come to work.”
You can still contact Customer First by telephoning:
General enquiries: 01422 288001
Street care questions: 01422 288002
Council tax and benefits queries: 01422 288003