CONTROVERSIAL plans to close the One Stop Shop in Thornbury will come to fruition at the end of this month.

The closure of the One Stop Shop (OSS) service at Thornbury Library, provided by South Gloucestershire Council, which was announced last October, was condemned by the community as taking away an important service, giving residents a vital point of contact with council officials.

South Gloucestershire Council claim that Thornbury has been the quietest of the council’s OSS ‘shop front’ services for a number of years, with the decision set to save £60,000 annually.

The service will officially close on June 30.

New arrangements are being made to help those needing to access services in the wake of the closure, with extra computers and dedicated staff to help residents with making enquiries online or by phone will be introduced at Thornbury library for the next six months.

A phone will also be available free of charge to speak to customer service advisors. More complicated matters will require residents to visit other OSS’s at Patchway, Yate or Kingswood.

Cllr John Goddard, South Gloucestershire Council cabinet member for corporate resources, said: “This decision is part of the council’s ongoing commitment to spending our money where it can make the most difference.

“Closing the Thornbury OSS, which is the quietest of these services, will help us save £60,000, which in turn means that we can protect other services that people rely on. 

“Although this decision was taken last year, we have spent time since then making arrangements that will support residents who may need a little help, for example with accessing services online, if they don’t have the equipment or the confidence.”

The council have said that many people from Thornbury who deal with the council already go online or use the phone, and a significant number of people who use the Thornbury OSS live closer to alternative services, particularly the Patchway OSS.

In a public consultation, undertaken by the council last year, 38 per cent of respondents supported proposals to close the Thornbury OSS, shifting towards online services, with 33 per cent supporting a partial closure of Thornbury, with the closure offset at other OSS’s.