Warwickshire News Mine

An experiment using OpenCalais and Google Maps to tag news stories

Does the council sell trees?

This is just one of the weird and wonderful enquiries staff from ‘Warwickshire Direct’ have had to face in the name of customer service.

The dedicated team are on hand on a daily basis – via phone or face to face – dealing with a huge array of enquiries; from buses and bins to parking and permits.

And this week the partnership, which offers advice and information about district, borough and county council services, will be putting customer service in the spotlight with a variety of events highlighting the range of services offered and new ways in which you can access them.

It’s all part of National Customer Service Week, an annual event which takes place from the 6th – 12th October to promote excellent customer care and raise awareness of the vital role played by customer service professionals.

Councillor Alan Farnell, Leader of Warwickshire County Council, said: "We are determined that our first point of contact with the people of Warwickshire is as helpful as possible. We now offer in Warwickshire more ways than ever before for people to access our services and find out more information. Customer Service Week is an excellent way to highlight just some of the work going on around the county. I’m certainly looking forward to playing my part personally when heading ‘back to the floor’ during the week of events."

Monday 6th October

Warwick district
The Leader of Warwickshire County Council, Alan Farnell and Chair of Warwick District Council, Judy Falp will be going ‘back to the floor’ from 2pm at Shire Hall’s ‘Warwickshire Direct’ answering calls and dealing with customer enquiries. Free goody bags will be available for all customers (contact WCC for more information).

The PHILLIS service will be holding an extra drop-in session at ‘Warwickshire Direct’ in Warwick, offering advice for older people and their carers on issues such as home and community safety, isolation, access to learning and support in the home (contact WCC for more information).


North Warwickshire
Customer Service Week kicks off with staff on hand at ‘Warwickshire Direct – North Warwickshire’ offering advice and information on a range of council services, plus beat the credit crunch by taking tips from the ‘Affordable Warmth’ display (contact NWBC for more information).

Nuneaton & Bedworth
‘Warwickshire Direct – North Warwickshire’ celebrates its first birthday at Nuneaton & Bedworth Borough Council’s headquarters at Nuneaton Town Hall. Information and displays will be available from Silver Surfers, Warwickshire Police and Job Centre Plus (contact NBBC for more information).

Tuesday 7th October

Warwick district
Come along to the Royal Priors shopping centre in Leamington Spa where staff from Warwick District Council and Warwickshire County Council will be manning a stall between 10am and 2pm. Benefit Take-Up Officers, a Recycling Officer and Customer Service Advisors will be on hand to answer any questions. Pick up a free recycling bag, enter the colouring competition and bring along your old mobile phone for recycling, (proceeds will go to Guide Dogs for the Blind). Plus complete a short questionnaire to be in with a chance to win an Ipod Shuffle! (contact WDC for more information).

North Warwickshire
Advisors from North Warwickshire Borough Council and Warwickshire County Council will be answering queries about council services at Atherstone’s Market Square between 8am and 1pm. Complete a questionnaire and pick up a free ‘green’ canvas goody bag (contact NWBC for more information).

Nuneaton & Bedworth
‘Warwickshire Direct – North Warwickshire’ celebrates its first birthday at Nuneaton & Bedworth Borough Council’s headquarters at Nuneaton Town Hall. Information and displays will be on hand from Silver Surfers, Warwickshire Police and Job Centre Plus (contact NBBC for more information).

Wednesday 8th October

Warwick district
The ‘Warwickshire Direct’ bus will be visiting the Walnut Tree Pub in Lillington from 10am to 12 noon and ASDA in Sydenham from 1pm to 3pm. Advisors from Warwick District Council will be on board offering advice on a wide range of council services, including recycling and benefits. Pick up a free recycling bag, enter the colouring competition and bring along your old mobile phone for recycling, (proceeds will go to Guide Dogs for the Blind). Plus complete a short questionnaire to be in with a chance to win an Ipod Shuffle (contact WDC for more information).

North Warwickshire
Staff from the Revenues and Benefits team will join the Hamlet mobile library service from 9.30am 2.40pm as it visits Mancetter, Newton Regis, Austrey, Warton, Polesworth and Baxterley. For a full schedule of stops call 01926 410410 or visit http://www.warwickshire.gov.uk (contact NWBC for more information).


Nuneaton & Bedworth
‘Behind the scenes’ tours will be running at 10am, 11am and 2pm at ‘Warwickshire Direct – North Warwickshire’ as part of its first birthday celebrations. Information and displays will also be available from Job Centre Plus, Silver Surfers and Warwickshire Police. Plus Coventry Development Agency will be on hand from 2pm offering advice and information (contact NBBC for more information).

Thursday 9th October

Warwick district
Advisors from ‘Warwickshire Direct – Kenilworth’ will be answering queries about council services at a market stall in Kenilworth between 9am and 3pm. They will be joined by Benefit Take-Up Officers and a Recycling Officer. Pick up a free recycling bag, enter the colouring competition and bring along your old mobile phone for recycling, (proceeds will go to Guide Dogs for the Blind). Plus complete a short questionnaire to be in with a chance to win an Ipod Shuffle (contact WDC for more information).

Warwick District Council Customer Services Manager and Website Service Manager will be going ‘back to the floor’ at ‘Warwickshire Direct – Kenilworth’ checking books in and out of the library (contact WDC for more information).

The Credit Union will be holding a drop-in session at ‘Warwickshire Direct’ in Warwick offering financial advice and information (contact WCC for more information).

Nuneaton & Bedworth
‘Warwickshire Direct – North Warwickshire’ one stop shop celebrates its first birthday at Nuneaton & Bedworth Borough Council’s headquarters at Nuneaton Town Hall. Information and displays will be on hand from Silver Surfers, Warwickshire Police and Job Centre Plus (contact NBBC for more information).

Friday 10

North Warwickshire
Staff from the Revenues and Benefits team will join the Hamlet mobile library service from 10am 3.40pm as it visits Shustoke, Maxstoke and Fillongley. For a full schedule of stops call 01926 410410 or visit http://www.warwickshire.gov.uk (contact NWBC for more information).

Nuneaton & Bedworth
‘Warwickshire Direct – North Warwickshire’ celebrates its first birthday at Nuneaton & Bedworth Borough Council’s headquarters at Nuneaton Town Hall. Information and displays will be on hand from Silver Surfers, Warwickshire Police and Job Centre Plus (contact NBBC for more information).

Stratford
Advisors from Warwickshire County Council and Stratford District Council will be at the Corn Market at the top of Sheep Street from 10am to 4pm handing out advice and information on a wide range of council services (contact SDC for more information).


Saturday 11th October

Warwick district
A special open morning will take place at ‘Warwickshire Direct’ in Warwick to celebrate six months since the opening of the one stop shop and of Warwick Post Office being located in the Shire Hall building. Advisors will be on hand between 10am and 1pm from The Family Information Service, Fostering Services, Fire Safety, Trading Standards, Recycling team, Leisure Services and Community Safety to offer advice and information. Come along to speak to staff, enjoy refreshments and pick up a free goody bag. Children can even have their faces painted, learn how to plant a bulb, enter the colouring competition and even meet Lionel the Lynx! Plus bring your old mobile phone along for recycling (proceeds will go to Guide Dogs for the Blind) and enter the free prize draw (contact WCC for more information). 

‘Warwickshire Direct – Whitnash’ will welcome Warwickshire Police for the day who will be providing advice on bicycle and road safety. They will be joined by staff from the Recycling team, offering free goody bags and showing children how to plant bulbs. Plus enter the poetry competition! (contact WDC for more information).

-Ends-

For enquiries contact:

North Warwickshire Borough Council (NWBC) – Karen Barrow, Public Relations Officer, Tel: 01827 719309, email: karenbarrow@northwarks.gov.uk.
Nuneaton & Bedworth Borough Council (NBBC) – Rachel Walker, Tel: 024 7637 6376, email: rachel.walker@nuneatonandbedworth.gov.uk.

Warwick District Council (WDC) – Fiona Clark, Customer Access Project Officer, Tel: 01926 450 000, email: Fiona.Clarke@warwickdc.gov.uk.

Stratford District Council (SDC) - Serena James, Senior Customer Services Officer, Tel: 01789 260910
Email: serena.james@stratford-dc.gov.uk.

Warwickshire County Council (WCC) – Laura Stone, Communications Assistant, Tel: 01926 476860, email laurastone@warwickshire.gov.uk

Other examples of weird and wonderful enquiries Customer Service Advisors at Warwickshire Direct have encountered include –

Can I land my helicopter in my field?
Can somebody please help the floundering fish that have been stranded on the river bank?
Can I bury my horse in my back garden?
I’m getting rid of my pond and have 20 goldfish that need re-homing. Would you come and collect them?
I’ve had a stroke and have lost my memory. I’ve lost 2 cars as I can’t remember where they are. I would like to speak to somebody about garages.
Can I be put through to NHS complaints?
I’ve just bought a bikini from you but I want to return it.
Where do we buy the tyres for our ride-on lawnmowers from?
What time does the number 16 bus go past my street?
When will you be providing broadband in my area?
I want to speak to the Queen. I am going to sue her.
I use the bus regularly so do I get a discount on my council tax?
Why is my recycling box red and not blue?
There is a dead cat outside my property and it appears to be wearing a red Gap jumper.
I think I’ve got a snake in the toilet – what shall I do?

Link to WCC