Warwickshire Direct – Whitnash, which brings County, District and Town Council services and the Whitnash Safer Neighbourhoods Team together under one roof at Whitnash Library, is now open to the public.
Building work to create Warwickshire Direct – Whitnash started at Whitnash Library in August and an official opening ceremony for the new facility was held on in December 2007.
The library has not only been extended to incorporate Warwickshire Direct – Whitnash but has also been enhanced by over £3,000 worth of new popular adult fiction, non-fiction and children's books. Opening hours have also been extended to 45 hours a week, with late night opening on Tuesdays and Thursdays (until 7pm) and Saturday morning opening.
A team of customer service advisors will answer people’s enquiries on a range of enquiries – from how to apply to go on the electoral register to how to join the local Credit Union.
Warwickshire Direct – Whitnash features a private room where staff can listen to confidential enquiries, a police room where people can discuss issues with the Safer Neighbourhoods Team, and a Town Council room.
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Warwickshire Direct project
Warwickshire Direct – Whitnash is phase two of an exciting pilot project involving Warwickshire County Council and Warwick District Council, which this time also includes Whitnash Town Council and Warwickshire Police. Services from the Leamington Spa Credit Union will also be available at Warwickshire Direct – Whitnash.
It follows the success of Warwickshire Direct – Kenilworth, a similar centre at Kenilworth Library that has benefited thousands of residents in Kenilworth since it opened in October 2005.
Councillor Peter Fowler, Portfolio Holder for Performance and Development, Warwickshire County Council, said: "Our partnership with Warwick District Council to provide a single point of contact for council services at Kenilworth Library has been a huge success and I am delighted that residents in Whitnash will now also reap the benefits of having such a centre on their doorstep. The aim was to bring a range of services, including county council services, closer to people in Whitnash and ‘Warwickshire Direct’ has achieved that. I’m delighted that the Whitnash Safer Neighbourhoods Team is also involved in this project. It is a fantastic facility for local residents."
Councillor Norman Pratt, Portfolio Holder for Customer Services, Warwick District Council, said: "Having the District Council, County Council and the Town Council along with the Police all based at one location is great news for the people of Whitnash. It builds on the district council's strategy of basing services in local communities."
Mayor of Whitnash, Councillor David Clough, said: "This is another step forward in bringing services to our town. I feel this is the way forward, making it easier for residents to visit services, which until now they have had to travel to Leamington or Warwick to receive."
Inspector Emma Bastone, Leamington Safer Neighbourhood Inspector said: "This is a great opportunity to build on the success we have already had with the police post at Lammas Croft. Warwickshire Direct will offer better facilities and more accessibility to a range of services to the residents of Whitnash. The Whitnash team are really looking forward to working closely with colleagues from the town, district and county council."