At last night’s Redditch Borough Council Executive Committee there was a proposal put forward to close the council’s One-Stop Shops and support Allpay, allowing members of the public to use more locations to pay council bills in person, giving them more choice about how and where they pay their council’s bills.
In any event, one-to-one support will be provided for each and every person who uses the One-Stop Shops so they can be migrated to a different payment method.
The Labour group was concerned that the closure of the One Stop Shops might upset people ‘who like to go there’ and might affect secondary spend in the nearby shops.
This is despite no other council of a similar size to ours in the country having this many One-Stop Shops. They do OK so why wouldn’t Redditch? We are the only council in Worcestershire that still accepts cash at One-Stop Shops like this – every other Council in Worcestershire does OK, so why can’t Redditch? The truth is it can!
I pointed out in the debate that customers will still be using the centres where the shops are based – they’ll just migrate to the shop next door or around the corner! They’ll still spend money on newspapers and the like. So the viability of the centres will be unaffected.
Despite this central objection being clearly set to rest the Labour group still voted against the proposals, just with no clear reason why.
Especially as they proposed closing them when in control of the Council in 2008!