Conservatives call on Kingston Council to re-open Customer Service Centre

Kingston’s Conservative councillors have called on LibDem-run Kingston Council to safely re-open the Customer Service Centre at the Guildhall.

The Customer Service Centre is supposed to be available to the residents of Kingston to come and talk to someone in person if they require help and advice. However, it has remained closed since lockdown despite many other shops and services re-opening.

The Guildhall offices in Kingston have seen a steady flow of Kingston residents turning up to seek help and advice, only to be turned away by security guards. Despite the option of speaking to council officers in person still being advertised as an option on Kingston Council’s website, the service remains closed.

Councillor Ian George, the Conservative Spokesman for Community & Engagement, said: “It is of course vitally important that social distancing rules are maintained and that nobody is put at risk. However, it shouldn’t be beyond the council to ensure the safety of visitors to their own Customer Service Centre.

“Shops and many other services manage with many more visitors in a less controlled environment. The LibDem Council was calling for the opening of garden centres way back in April, when lockdown was still in place. Yet they can’t even provide a service to many of their most needy residents who want to use the council services in person.

“The people who want to use the Customer Service Centre in person tend to be older residents or those who have personal issues to discuss. Some of our residents are suffering and would benefit greatly from being able to talk to someone from the council who could play an active part in helping with their mental and physical wellbeing.

“Along with charging the highest Council Tax in London, Kingston Council has received over £11 million in extra funding from the government to deal with issues resulting from Covid-19. Local residents deserve a better service, delivered safely, but unfortunately, there doesn’t seem to be the will from the LibDems.”