Council office in Aylesbury High Street to close next week

The old AVDC offices in Aylesbury
The old AVDC offices in Aylesbury

The district council’s Aylesbury High Street customer service centre is to close on January 31 in a bid to save money.

The authority says the number of people using the centre has fallen ‘dramatically’ over the past four years and the introduction of an automated phone system will save £40,000 a year.

According to Aylesbury Vale District Council, around 20 people go to the centre each week to speak to a benefits advisor, with a small number attending a housing clinic and most people completing their enquiry using the self-service area.

Face-to-face services will now only be available at the Gateway offices.

Councillor Pam Pearce, cabinet member for community matters, said: “The way people access council services is changing and people tend to prefer contacting us either by phone or using our online services.

“It is clear from the visitor figures that maintaining the customer service centre is not efficient or cost effective.

“Although there will be much more of an emphasis on self-service, we will continue to offer face-to-face support to anyone who needs it.”

People needing help should first go to the council website or call 01296 585858.

The new self-service area in Gatehouse Road will be open from February 3.

It is expected that the Aylesbury library, currently in Walton Street, will be re-located into the old AVDC offices.

Other services are also expected to be run out of the High Street offices in the future, including the tourist information centre currently located by the King’s Head pub, and the NHS has been using parts of the building.

If the library does move from Walton Street, Grosvenor Estates, who own the site and Friars Square, would look to redevelop it.