Happy Birthday Customer Services Centre! Stockton Council employees Sue Sephton (left) and Jill Douglas
A good Celebrating investment 50 years of David and Eileen on their happy day
Stockton Council has again been recognised for the excellent work it does in training and developing its staff through two prestigious accolades. David and Eileen Bache have said
Investor in People status is awarded to organisations which can demonstrate they value the continuous improvement and development of their employees and Stockton Council has held this corporately since 2003.
Meanwhile the Council’s Middle Management Development Programme also got a special mention after winning the Macro Employer of the Year title at this year’s National Training Awards.
As we remember
On Sunday 11 November people from across Stockton Borough attended parades, church services and laid wreaths at cenotaphs to remember those men and women who gave their lives in conflict in previous wars as well as those still in conflict today. Services took place in Stockton Parish Church, St Luke’s Church in Thornaby, St. John the Baptist’s Church in Egglescliffe, St Mary’s Church in Norton, All Saints Church in Preston-on-Tees, Yarm Parish Church as well as the cenotaph at Port Clarence. PAGE 52
‘I Do again’ – 50 years to the day they got married. The happy couple renewed their vows at Stockton Register Office at Nightingale House.
It’s a year since the successful Customer Services Centre, based in Stockton’s central library, opened and in that time the centre has dealt with more than 85,000 customers. More than 20,000 have used the Council Tax Benefits Service and more than 7,000 people have used the Blue Badge service. Many customers have also taken advantage of the state of the art selfservice facilities to view planning applications, order recycling equipment or to report issues such as potholes. The Cash Office within the Centre has processed more than 125,000 transactions since it opened. The centre, which was created part of the library’s £1.9 million refurbishment, makes it so much easier for residents to access lots of different Council services. Visitors can choose to speak to helpful staff face-toface and access state-of-the-art technology
to report any problems or pay bills. We asked some visitors what they thought: Anthony Simpson, from Norton, initially made the Centre his first port of call to find out about housing benefits. After being in the army for 29 years he not only found out about housing benefits but also about support for ex-service personnel. He said: “I was totally at a loss when I left the army but coming here I’ve been helped with everything – it’s brilliant and the staff are fantastic.” Kirsty Anne McGinney visited the Centre with her husband William and said: “It’s all under one roof and it’s very good. I also use the computer facilities. It’s much less time consuming than having to go to different buildings.”
Deborah Radics from Norton and Pauline Stephenson from Stockton were both visiting the Centre to pay their Council Tax. They agreed the system is much better now as “you can deal with lots of different services all in one visit.” Vicki Thorpe from Hardwick said: “I think the Centre is good and the service is a lot quicker.” Sheila Thompson from Grangefield in Stockton, agreed: “It’s loads better – everything is all under one roof and it’s more private.” The Customer Services Centres in Stockton and Thornaby are open on Saturdays 9.30am - 12.30pm To find out more visit www.stockton.gov.uk/customerservices
Stockton’s Registration Service offers marriages, civil partnership ceremonies, renewal of vows and naming ceremonies. David and Eileen, who live in Norton, decided to renew their vows in front of family and friends – and they had a perfect day to celebrate their golden anniversary. Eileen said: “I had thought about renewing our vows and then David came home one day and said he had been and booked it! It was a magical day and I really did feel like a princess – it was just as perfect as the day we married. “All the staff at the Register Office were marvellous and it was wonderful to share our special day with friends and family.” To find out more about Stockton Registration Service visit www.stockton.gov.uk/registry or call (01642) 527720.
Left to right, Deborah Radics, Pauline Stephenson, Anthony Simpson, Kirsty Anne McGinney and William McGinney
It’s loads better – everything is all under one roof and it’s more private. PAGE 53