Thornbury one-stop-shop closure to go ahead despite opposition

June 27 2017

THE controversial move to close Thornbury’s one-stop-shop will go ahead from the end of June.

THE controversial move to close Thornbury’s one-stop-shop will go ahead from the end of June.

A decision was taken last autumn to shut down the facility, which is based in the town’s library and provides a point of contact for local people who need help and advice with council services.

But South Gloucestershire Council said Thornbury had been the least busy of its one-stop-shops for a number of years and closing it would help save £60,000 annually.

Labour and Liberal Democrat councillors had spoken out against the closure but it was confirmed for mid-2017.

However, the council said new arrangements had been made at the library to help residents needing to access its services.

That included installing more computers and having a dedicated member of staff available for the next six months to help people get used to what might be a new way of dealing with the council.

South Gloucestershire said a significant number of users of the Thornbury facility lived closer to alternative services, especially the Patchway one-stop-shop.

But those who make use of the Thornbury service will still be able to visit the library - and get help there if necessary - to collect application forms for benefits, bus passes and blue badges for the disabled, report potholes, renew garden waste subscriptions and use a freephone to speak to advisers.

More complicated matters might involve visiting other one-stop-shops in Yate, Patchway or Kingswood.

John Goddard, the council’s Cabinet member for corporate resources, said: “This decision is part of the council’s ongoing commitment to spending our money where it can make the most difference. 

“Closing the Thornbury one-stop-shop, which is the quietest of these services, will help us save £60,000, which in turn means that we can protect other services that people rely on.

“Although this decision was taken last year, we have spent time since then making arrangements that will support residents who may need a little help, such as accessing services online, if they don’t have the equipment or the confidence.”