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Update on changes to services being delivered by Riverside to residents in Carlisle

Last month housing association Riverside asked customers to have their say about the possible closure of the reception desk at English Gate Plaza in the town.

The proposal came about after decrease in the number of customers visiting the reception desk in recent years, choosing instead to go online or call the 24-hour customer service centre to book and manage repairs.

Following on from the consultation Riverside has made the decision to close the reception desk from Friday 5 April.

Sarah Paton, Regional Director said: “We want to thank customers and other stakeholders who took part in the consultation and gave us feedback.

“We’ve taken on board their comments and have considered everything. With less people now visiting the office to speak to someone face-to-face we believe it will be more cost effective to invest in providing services in our neighbourhoods, online and over the phone.

“Changes to our frontline service mean 50 per cent more housing officers are now working in our neighbourhoods, so we are better placed to visit customers at home or somewhere more convenient. Our online service allows customers to book and manage repairs, view live rent and service accounts, and update their personal details.”

Riverside has also made arrangements with Carlisle City Council to provide some services at Civic Centre in Carlisle. Customers will be able to speak to someone face to face and be supported to access Riverside’s services using the Freephone provided or online. They’ll also be able to pick up a printed copy of Cumbria Choice application forms.

Sarah added: “We are committed to ensuring customers can continue to access our services and the Civic Centre will allow customers to still get the help they need.

“We’re committed to our role as a housing provider and employer in Carlisle and our hub office will still remain an important centre for Riverside in the area.”

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