Axe to fall on council office hub

A frontline office in Lutterworth which allows people to pay bills and get advice on council benefits is to close at the end of the month – severing one of the town’s final links with Harborough District Council.

The town had its own dedicated office – Lutterworth Service Shop – located in a shop unit in the town’s Market Street and open every day until about two years ago when the district council closed its doors and moved the service into Lutterworth Library.

Now that facility is just a few weeks away from closure after the district council decided to close it at a meeting in December.

The Service Shop will be replaced by a two-day-a-week “benefits checking” service at the Lutterworth Citizens’ Advice Bureau office, which is found at the One Stop Shop in Gilmorton Road.

It comes at a time when the district council’s offices in Market Harborough are undergoing a £5.75million revamp.

At the council meeting in December where the decision to axe the office was made, the council said the full-time desk at Lutterworth Library, which is open for 35 hours-a-week by a full-time member of staff, was serving an average of 1.75 people every hour – or about 60 people a week.

Mayor of Lutterworth Rob Coleman said he was disappointed to learn the service was closing as it marked a further reduction in what was available to people in Lutterworth.

He added: “It is a shame but I recognise in this economic climate we have to make the best use of the money we have for the benefit of the majority.”