Torridge District Council's Customer Services Team has launched a new outreach initiative as part of its access strategy, designed to promote and ensure that all citizens have equal access to its services. Working in partnership with the Police and the C

TORRIDGE District Council's Customer Services Team has launched a new outreach initiative as part of its access strategy, designed to promote and ensure that all citizens have equal access to its services.Working in partnership with the Police and the Citizens Advice Bureau, the idea is to run Remote Access Surgeries in some of the more rural areas, where staff and elected councillors will be available to chat with members of the public and answer questions about the council and its services. Nicola Quill, Programme Manager (Access) at Torridge, said, "As part of Torridge District Council's Access Strategy vision we want all Torridge residents to have better access to our services and information. "As a council, we realise it isn't always convenient or indeed easy for our customers to come to our offices in Bideford, Torrington or Holsworthy. We believe those customers shouldn't have their choice limited to electronic or telephone contact only. Face-to-face contact should be made available wherever possible, just as it is for the residents of our larger communities."The most recent Remote Access Surgeries - in St Giles on the Heath and at Halwill Community Fun Day - were themed around one of Torridge's Four Strategic Goals - Safeguarding our Environment. Free energy saving light bulbs were available and a competition to win a power saver for computers and their peripherals was held. Councillor Barry Parsons, Member for Forest, who was at the Halwill Community Fun Day, said, "As part of Torridge's ongoing public interaction, these Surgeries represent a real point of contact for members of the public to meet their local Councillors and Council Staff. Torridge's stall at the Halwill Community Fun Day was well attended and appreciated by all."And Councillor Marion Perkin (Broadheath), said of the St Giles on the Heath event: "I am delighted to be involved in bringing the council's services out to rural communities. Our residents can now put a face to the corporate identity that is Torridge."The next planned Remote Access Surgery will be held at Winkleigh Community Fun day on Wednesday July 16. If you think your Local Community would benefit from a Remote Access Surgery, please contact the Customer Services Team on 01237 428700.