West Berkshire Council

Start date: 2015-11-03
End date: 2015-12-14
Results: 2016-03-03
ARCHIVED

[ARCHIVED] Budget Proposal 2016/17 - Phase One: Visitor Information Service

Part of the range of West Berkshire Council's budget proposals for 2016/17, with supporting information and Equality Impact Assessments

If you haven't already seen our video explaining why these changes are being proposed, please visit our Budget Proposals 2016/17 webpage.

Background

The Visitor Information Centre (VIC) is located in the Town Hall, Market Place, Newbury.

The VIC was established in Newbury in the mid 1980s to encourage and welcome visitors to the town and West Berkshire. It was originally located in the Museum and moved to the Town Hall in February 2013 as part of the museum redevelopment project.

The VIC provides:

  • a fully accessible visitor information service for local residents and UK and overseas visitors
  • a Box Office Service to help support local events and venues
  • booking agency for National Express, Barnes coaches tickets and K&A Canal Trust boat trips
  • local accommodation bookings - finding suitable accommodation to meet visitors' needs
  • brochures and leaflets, travel timetables, books and maps, faxing and photocopying, local produce  and souvenirs
  • bike hire
  • promotion of local groups, charities and attractions
  • a disabled friendly venue which is also a refuge for disabled people if they don't feel safe in the town

Proposal

This council will cease providing the Visitor Information Service resulting in a saving of £62,000.


What do we think the impact will be?

Local people and visitors will not have a face-to-face service in the town centre that provides information, advice and guidance about enjoying the West Berkshire area. The proposal will have some negative impact on people who prefer a face-to-face service rather than online services, such as online coach and theatre ticket sales


What else have we considered in arriving at our proposal?

As part of this consultation we will approach Newbury Town Council and the Newbury Business Improvement District (BID) to discuss  the possibilities of delivering a service while achieving the proposed saving for the council.  More and more activity is now being completed using online services. 

The 'Visit Newbury' website provides visitor information and booking services for the whole of West Berkshire and is managed by the BID. The BID have recently redeveloped and improved the website.


This consultation has now closed.

What you told us

We received 142 responses to this consultation.

We have condensed all your comments into the 'Summary of Responses' and everything you said, word for word, is contained in 'Verbatim Responses'.

These can be found in 'Documents' below.

What we did

A recommendation on how to proceed with this proposal was made to the Executive Members on  11 February 2016.

This can also be found below in 'Overview and Recommendation'.

Following this, at the Full Council Meeting on 1 March 2016, all Members discussed this proposal as part of setting the Revenue Budget for 2016/17.

At the vote, the budget was agreed with the suggested amendments.

It was agreed to proceed with this proposal.

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