Council to restart face-to-face meetings at St Aldate's

Published: Thursday, 3rd December 2020

From 7 December the City Council will once again be offering residents face-to-face meetings with Council staff.

Update on 27 January 2022: From 31 January 2022 the City Council will be offering residents face to face meetings from the Oxfordshire County Library, Queen Street, Westgate instead of at St Aldate's Chambers. For details see our Contact us page.

To ensure the protection of both staff and customers, significant Covid-19 health and safety measures will be in place.

Limited hours opening

The St Aldate's Customer Service Centre will be open on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays from 10.30am to 1pm, and 2pm to 3.30pm only. The service will be for limited hours to avoid customers travelling at peak times. The Council is advising customers to book an appointment by phoning 01865 249811.

Additionally, Rose Hill Community Centre remains open for facilitated video face-to-face appointments on Tuesdays and Thursdays, from 9:30am to 4:00pm. To make an appointment please phone 01865 249811.

Covid restrictions have made face-to-face meetings between customers and Council staff difficult, or indeed during lockdowns, impossible. But from next Monday we are once again able to offer these at our St Aldate's offices.

“We are aware from calls to the Council that due to loss of earnings in this Covid period, some people are concerned about growing debts, including getting behind with their rent or council tax payments. We would urge them to take up this opportunity for a confidential face to face chat with council officers to see how we can help.

“The City Council has been able to continue to offer most of its services online. This remains our preferred method, and that of many of our customers. But we realise there will always be a place for face-to-face meetings and that some customers prefer this.

“Our staff have made extensive Covid-safe preparations to ensure that anyone visiting St Aldate’s Chambers will be safe so please do not hesitate to make an appointment if you need to see someone.”    

Cllr Nigel Chapman, Cabinet Member for Customer Focused Services

Safety measures put in place

Council officers are working hard behind the scenes to ensure that the new safety measures will put visitors’ minds at ease, while still creating a friendly, welcoming environment.

All customers will be greeted by a staff member who will check that it is safe to enter the building. Visitors will be asked to use a mobile phone to scan a QR code or provide full contact details for track and trace purposes. Additional safety measures put in place include:

  • signage, hand sanitising stations, Perspex screens and deep cleaning
  • face coverings to be worn by staff and customers (except for those who are exempt)
  • surfaces will be sanitised after every visit
  • a one-way system in place to ensure social distancing
  • no self-service computers in use.

The City Council wants to encourage customers to use online services where they can, through the Council's website, where they can talk to officers through the webchat service. Video calls from home are also available by phoning the Customer Contact Centre on 01865 249811.