Door closes on walk-in service

A WALK-in advice service based in Stowmarket will be scrapped next month because it is ‘not financially viable’.

The service, operated by Customer Service Direct (CSD) on behalf of Mid Suffolk District Council and Suffolk County Council, will end from March 31.

A review of the service was carried out from October 2009 throughout 2010 focusing on how the service is currently delivered and how the service could be provided in the future.

A survey monitoring the number of visitors at walk-in centres in Stowmarket and Eye showed a steady decline in visitors over the last few years.

Information was recorded using a website survey which was completed by visitors at the centre or on their behalf by a member of staff.

Both councils have decided that it is not financially viable to keep the centres open when the same services are available alternatively via the internet and over the phone.

Most visitors using the centres do so in order to make payments, a service which is available through the Post Office and on line as well as by telephone or by post.

The walk-in centre in Needham Market will remain open and residents in Stowmarket can use the Tourist Information Centre.

Carol Eagles, bureau manager at Stowmarket Citizens Advice Bureau, said they often worked alongside CSD to help people.

She said: “It’s always sad when a service closes, we are busy and we often send people down to CSD and they send clients to us.

She said that they will help those who use the service once it closes.

“We would tell people to come to us and talk to us and we will help them to solve their problems or enable them to manage their problems,” she said.

People can get still access advice at www.csduk.com or by calling Customer Service Direct on 08456 066067.