From next month, if you’re visiting County Hall in Taunton you’ll need to head to the reception area in the historic A-Block.
From Monday 3 October, Somerset County Council is re-opening the front doors of the Grade II listed A-Block and closing the B-Block and C-Block reception desks to the public.
The B-Block reception desk will remain open for staff and contractors only. However the doors will remain open to visitors and the public, who will then be signposted through to A-Block reception. Members of the public will still also be able to access the County Hall restaurant.
Anyone visiting Children’s Social Care will also need to make their way to A-Block reception, where accessible meeting rooms will be made available. There will also be spaces for staff to meet with visitors.
Cllr John Osman, Leader of Somerset County Council, said: “Bringing in these changes will help us improve the experience of all visitors to County Hall. If you have any appointments or reason to visit us from Monday 3 October, please remember that we’ll be happy to greet you in our A-Block reception.”
Somerset County Council’s opening hours for visitors to the A-Block reception will be Monday to Thursday, 8am to 5pm, and from 8am to 4.30pm on Fridays. Short stay accessible parking will still be available at the front of A-Block and B-Block for visitors.
These changes will save Somerset County Council £30,000 per year. The authority has had to save more than £100m over the last five years and expects to lose a further £40m of direct government funding by 2020/2021. Meanwhile, costs increase, for example over the last three years the authority has had to spend an extra £8m supporting vulnerable adults.