Council confirms Community Access Points (CAPs) will close or see hours slashed

Camapigner against CAP closure in Horncastle EMN-160508-142738001
Camapigner against CAP closure in Horncastle EMN-160508-142738001

Campaigners have lost their battle to halt controversial plans by East Lindsey District Council to axe some Community Access Points and slash the opening hours at others.

The council has confirmed the cuts following what it describes as a ‘comprehensive review’ of its customer service programmes.

Many people had complained changes at CAPs would affect the most vulnerable members of society.

And, it has emerged, the future of some Tourist Information Centres is still in doubt as the council looks to save £6m over the next four years as Government funding continues to reduce.

Hours at CAPs at Louth, Horncastle, Mabelthorpe and Skegness will be cut.

The council has confirmed the permanent closure of part-time CAPs at Alford, Holton le Clay, Spilsby, Manby and Tattershall from October 25.

The authority says there will be improvements to online services and more advisors on duty at its call centre.

The decision also follows a public consultation in which 485 respondents took part.

The council argues that over the past three years, footfall at CAPs/TICs has reduced by around 18% overall.

They say more customers prefer to access services over the telephone - or by computer.

ELDC currently provides 11 CAPs/TICs via Compass Point Business Services at a cost of around £730,000 per year.

The changes approved by the council’s Executive Board include:

○Reduced opening hours from November 28, 2016 at Horncastle CAP, Louth CAP/TIC, Mablethorpe CAP and Skegness CAP and the installation of self-serve kiosks.

○Mablethorpe TIC will be included in Mablethorpe CAP on the revised CAP hours, and the council will explore whether further TIC provision can be provided closer to the town centre in partnership with a local organisation or business.

○Horncastle TIC will be provided by the Sir Joseph Banks Centre, meaning the TIC will be open longer each week than it is currently (six hours a day, six days a week).

ELDC will continue discussions with the Cottage Museum in Woodhall Spa, where a seasonal TIC is located. If an agreement can’t be achieved, the TIC will close after the present season.