CARMARTHENSHIRE County Council’s customer service staff have handled 120,000 calls whilst working from home since the start of the Coronavirus pandemic in March.

That’s nearly 13,000 more calls than the same period last year, with over 8,500 enquiries directly related to Covid-19.

Staff are doing all they can to help residents with queries from waste to collections, to housing repairs, booking appointments at recycling centres to ordering library books.

During lockdown 5,161 rent payments and 2,615 council tax payments were paid over the phone, and nearly 6,000 bookings have been taken for recycling centres since they re-opened in July.

The council’s customer service Hwbs on Stepney Street, Llanelli, and Quay Street, Ammanford, have also re-opened, although residents are encouraged to continue using their My Hwb account for online services and payments where possible.

The Hwb provides a face to face advice and assistance service to customers for a range of council enquiries such as recycling, housing benefits, council tax, blue badges, taxi licensing and more.

Residents are reminded that whilst council services are re-opening on a phased basis, some facilities may not be open and are being asked to be patient and appreciate that staff may not be able to help with all their enquiries at present.

Cllr David Jenkins, Executive Board Member for customer services, said:

“Our customer services team have continued to help thousands of customers throughout the pandemic.

“Working from home through the pandemic has been a challenge for them in itself, but they have also dealt with a huge increase in calls and I want to thank them for their efforts.

“Whilst we have re-opened some of our Hwb buildings for those who require face to face advice, we still have staff at the end of the phone to help residents with enquiries. Not all our services are operating fully so please bear with us – our staff are there to help, please have patience and treat them with respect.”

Find information on a range of council services, request help, report a concern, or check for latest news and service updates at www.carmarthenshire.gov.wales, email direct@carmarthenshire.gov.wales or call 01267 234567.

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