02/05/18: One-stop service hub opens in Thetford
Residents in Thetford and the surrounding areas who are seeking work, need assistance accessing benefits or more information about local services can now obtain all the help they need at a single 'one-stop-shop' following the relocation of Thetford Jobcentre to Breckland Council offices on St Nicholas Street.
The new shared facility in Breckland House was officially opened today (2 May) by Cllr Sam Chapman-Allen, Breckland Council's Deputy Leader and Julia Nix, East Anglia District Manager for the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) in a ribbon-cutting ceremony.
The relocation supports a nation-wide government initiative that encourages different public sector organisations to work more closely together, to reduce costs and provide a more convenient and joined up service for users.
Cllr Chapman-Allen explained: "The relocation of Dereham Jobcentre to the main Breckland Council office in the town in 2016 is working well for residents and we are now building on this success in Thetford. Many people who visit need to access more than one service - for example, someone may lose their job unexpectedly and not be able to pay their rent or mortgage, so could need advice on claiming benefits and possibly housing issues, as well as help with finding new employment. Having all these services under one roof saves these people time, stress and an additional trip."
Julia Nix, East Anglia District Manager for DWP said: "We are delighted that we have been able to co-locate with Breckland Council and look forward to continuing our positive working relationship with them. Moving into shared premises means that we can provide exemplar services while protecting the public purse."
DWP and Breckland staff attended briefings in advance of the move to gain a more in-depth understanding of each other's service; this will enable staff to refer customers on to the appropriate service if further help is needed.
In preparation for the Thetford move, the reception area at Breckland House has been moved and enlarged, making room for self-service PCs. These enable customers to complete claims or search for work online and assistance is on hand if required. The facility to scan and upload documents will follow soon.