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Outrage after Chesterfield residents left to foot £2 million bill for failed call centre

The Lib Dem run Borough Council invested £1,500,000 in a new call centre partnership arrangement to answer calls from Chesterfield people who were attempting to access council services like refuse collection, council tax and street cleaning. But after three years of criticism over the poor service and escalating costs, the council has now announced that it will close the current call centre and spend another £500,000 bringing the service back in house.

Cllr Toby Perkins, Labour’s parliamentary candidate in Chesterfield is outraged at the waste of council tax payers money: “The Lib Dems running this borough council don’t seem to care that at a time of great financial uncertainty, £2 Million pounds of ratepayers money has been spent building a failing call centre and dismantling it again. Throughout the three years, local people’s access to services has been very poor due to these failures, and the costs attached have consistently spiralled out of control. At meeting after meeting the Council leadership have assured us that they have it all under control, and only now have they admitted that they ‘have no way of controlling the costs’ ‘ that it presents an ongoing risk’ and that ‘there is little prospect of the service improving’.

The failings identified by the Council’s own reports include long waiting times for people phoning the centre and high numbers of calls abandoned without an answer due to the length of time people are waiting.

Toby Perkins said: “At a time when everyone is under such pressure financially, and shortly after laying off around 45 staff, it is frankly scandalous that the Borough Council could waste such a huge amount of money so carelessly.”

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Welcome

I am Toby Perkins, Labour's Member of Parliament for Chesterfield. If you would like to get in touch with me, my office is open and can be reached by phone on 01246 386 286. I also hold regular surgeries so that constituents can meet me and I can take up their concerns. If you would like to make an appointment then please do contact my office. Thank you for visiting.

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