Worry as council centre is to close
A COMMUNITY facility in the Avenues is set to close.
Hull City Council has confirmed the Customer Service Centre in the Newland Building will be closed next month to help sell the whole site.
The service is used by people to pay bills, collect forms and report problems.
Anna Scott, a member of Ella Street Residents' Association, said she was disappointed by the news.
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"The council should be trying to reach out to the community," she said.
"You can't exclude members of the community that can't use online services."
She said it is often vulnerable people who need access to face-to-face council services, such as the elderly or disabled people.
Mrs Scott said: "It seems from the outside view, that they're panicking and just closing things down.
"My concern would be who it's going to be sold to and will it be something that's good for the community."
Mrs Scott said she regularly uses the building for Ella Street Residents' Association meetings.
Traders in Newland Avenue are concerned about what will replace the former Newland Primary School.
There had been interest from big retail chains when it was previously on the market.
Dean Webster, owner of Websters Butchers, said: "It would finish off the Avenue if a big name moved in.
"Most of the shop owners would say that the best thing you could with that building is flatten it and make it into a pay-and-display car park."
Wyke Area councillors, who have their committee meetings in the building, were only informed about the definite closure by email. Councillor Mike Ross said: "It's being closed down without proper meaningful consultation with local groups, residents or even councillors.
"I'm sure there'll be organisations who can come forward and put the building to good use for the community but the council may simply sell it to the highest bidder."
The council said the closure decision had been made following consultation with the Monthly Members Disposal Consultation Group.
There are no plans to relocate the Customer Service Centre because of low footfall but the closure will increase staff levels at other customer services.