Kilsyth’s First Stop Shop saved in annual budget review

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A KILSYTH service has avoided the axe following North Lanarkshire Council’s annual budget review.

The First Stop Shop in the town was considered for closure along with the branches of the service in Moodiesburn, Shotts and Viewpark.

North Lanarkshire Council would have saved £414,000 if the closures were to go ahead.

The First Stop Shop provides a wide range of information about council and other public services.

Users can access some council services directly and get help with any issues they may be having.

Through the First Stop Shop, you can report roads, footpath and lighting defects; get advice on applications for housing benefits and council or rent rebates; request special uplifts and report litter problems; request maintenance or repairs to a council house; apply for help through the Garden Assistance Scheme; collect and submit application forms for all council services and find information about council meetings, councillors’ surgeries, council vacancies and the electoral register.

Staff at the First Stop Shops will also be able to refer you to services such as debt and money advice, community care and health services, consumer advice and public transport.

Kilsyth councillor Jean Jones is delighted the service has been retained.

She said: “During the consultation locally one the issues raised at various meetings was the First Stop Shop in Kilsyth. This will not be closing.

“It is important for people who use it as a bank, pay their rent and council tax. It was felt that with welfare reform about to hit everyone local provision to get advice and assistance was essential.

“People who have never had to pay rent will need to be able to go along locally and pay. In an ideal world everyone would pay by direct debit but that is not always convenient for some.

“The municipal bank which operates out of the First Stop Shop is the bank of choice for many of our local groups.

“The building also offers lots of other services to the community.”