Council customer service centre investment will help residents.

Work is set to begin early next month on a major programme of improvements to Renfrewshire Council’s flagship customer service centre in Paisley.

Refurbishment of the centre in the council’s Cotton Street HQ will begin on Monday 7 April with £400,000 invested in improving facilities for Renfrewshire residents.

Visitor numbers are expected to rise with the introduction of the UK Government’s new Universal Credit benefit.

Already, the council’s Advice Works team, who offer drop-ins at Renfrewshire House, have seen their caseload rise following welfare reforms.

The centre will also feature new private rooms for the registration of births, deaths and marriages.

mike holmes.jpgCouncillor Mike Holmes, Depute Leader of Renfrewshire Council, said: “We’ve been clear from day one that we’ll do everything we can to mitigate the impact the UK Government’s damaging welfare reforms are having on the people of Renfrewshire.

“Our most vulnerable residents are unfortunately the ones being hit hardest and they need expert advice and support delivered in person. This financial year, we’ve received 5,000 applications for discretionary housing payments and have awarded 5,000 crisis grants.

“And when Universal Credit is rolled out nationally to replace six key benefits, even more local people facing difficult circumstances will need support.

“Renfrewshire residents deserve to have the best possible environment to speak to someone when they’re at their most vulnerable – whether that’s when they’re facing financial hardship and need support or they are registering the death of a loved one.”

The centre will also feature digital access points for customers to carry out simple transactions online, freeing up advisor time for some of the more complex and sensitive issues.

Work begins in the Customer Service Centre on Monday 7 April and will continue for a period of 12 weeks. Normal opening hours apply and visitor parking will not be affected.

Courtesy of Renfrewshire Council.