Town Hall reception changes a ‘total cock up’

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Changes to the reception area at Crawley Town Hall have been labelled a ‘total cock up’ by one Labour councillor.

The Labour-controlled Crawley Borough Council removed the reception desk last week with ‘floorwalkers’ operating instead, with the stated aim of offering customers a ‘more interactive service’.

But in an email to his fellow councillors Brian Quinn (Lab, Broadfield North) said it looked ‘silly’ with people walking around with a computer adding: “Sorry to say, as predicted a total cock up.”

Speaking to the Crawley Observer, Cllr Quinn added: “This is my personal view and it does not look professional when you walk into the town hall.

“When you walk in to most buildings any town hall or any business quarters you would expect to walk over to the reception desk and be advised, if you are dropping off a letter you would leave it on reception this would avoid not having to queue up waiting for a floor walker.

“Also these floorwalkers are inside the door in the draught from very cold wind and rain, I just thought it would have been appropriate to consult all members to approve.”

Badges for the advisors were ordered but did arrived in time, while uniforms have not been considered as they would be ‘too expensive’ for the 27 staff.

According to council officers ‘some staff are not happy with the proposed changes’, but ‘nobody is being blamed for their views and alternatives are available for any staff who do not feel comfortable with the floor walking role’.

A council spokesman said: “The reception desk was removed last week. It hadn’t been staffed since 15 November and we had previously trialled having floorwalkers only on several occasions.

“We have now increased the number of floorwalkers to improve customers’ experience, remove confusion and open up the Town Hall foyer, as well as provide a more interactive service for our customers.

“We’ve received positive feedback from our customers of this new approach, which will also allow us to develop new working practices ahead of the potential move to a new Town Hall.”

Councillor Duncan Crow (Con, Furnace Green), leader of the Conservative group at the council, added: “There is a feeling among Conservative councillors and a few Labour councillors who are brave enough to speak out against the Corbynites and Momentum, that the public are no longer welcome at the town hall.

“I have been saying for the last two years that Labour are operating a ‘closed-shop town hall’ in Crawley and the removal of the reception desk to receive the public could be seen as a physical manifestation of that.”

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