Plans by Harrogate Borough Council to open up a new customer services centre in Ripon town hall have moved a step closer.
The local authority’s planning committee has given its support to the council’s application to make some internal changes to accommodate the council’s customer services team and the city’s Tourist Information Centre.
The council is just waiting for the planning approval to be ratified by the Secretary of State, which is necessary under national planning policies, but it hopes to be in a position to start work in July and the new office should be open by late summer.
Coun Alan Skidmore, Harrogate Borough Council’s Cabinet Member for Planning, Transport and Economic Development, said: “While the council has always had a housing office in the town hall, this is the first of a new approach to make it easier for customers to access a number of local authority services from a ‘one stop shop’ in the city.
“ As well as housing services, residents will be able to seek help with other issues such as planning, benefits, licensing and council tax. They will also be able to pay bills on line from a kiosk to be located in the centre.
“Ripon will be the first of our new customer service centres, with another to follow in Harrogate. We also propose to open customer access points in Boroughbridge, Knaresborough, Masham and Pateley Bridge.”
The proposals for Ripon town hall represent small-scale internal alterations to the building that will not result in the loss of historic fabric of this important listed building, the council said.