Leighton residents will have to start embracing new technology and take part in a video conference if they want help with solving problems from Central Beds Council.
Sitting down for a chat with a friendly face is being sidelined in a bid by the authority to save money each year at the Customer Services Centre it runs from Bossard House in West Street.
The centre currently sees around six customers an hour. From January the current opening hours will be reduced to its three busiest days (44 staffing hours).
The closed two days will be replaced with a computer terminal at the town’s library. You will be able to go at any time, log on, and talk to a person in Bedford about a variety of issues. Any documents can be scanned into the computer and transmitted to Bedford for perusal.
Leighton-Linslade Town Council leader, Councillor David Bowater, said town and district members had argued for the retention of the five-day-a-week service but “no-one was listening”.
He added: “We worked really hard to get them to change their minds and I’m very disappointed that no-one appeared to listen to our side of the argument.
“Obviously there are going to be a lot of people who are not technologically minded who will have difficulties with the new system. It’s video-conferencing and some people can’t even cope with basic computing.
“We hope that this isn’t the shape of things to come. We have been assured that there won’t be any further cutback in opening hours.”