Shropshire Star

Privacy fears over Oswestry library hub raised

A consultation over a new community hub at Oswestry library has revealed serious concerns over the privacy of people who use the service.

Concerns have been raised about the new community hub at Oswestry Library

The hub opened in the library in September, taking over as the town's main contact point for Shropshire Council services.

In April, following its first six months, a consultation was carried out among visitors, and the results were revealed at a meeting of Oswestry Town Council last night.

Chris Westwood, customer services manager at Shropshire Council, said the plan was to make the hub somewhere where people could go to "self service" their issues by making phone calls or using the internet, but where they would also be able to talk to an adviser if they needed to.

However, he admitted that the privacy of users was something that needed to be looked at.

"Some of the people don't seem to be as aware that they can be overheard," he said.

"There is just one desk there with two people behind it, and you are having to sit next to someone else while you talk about your private issues. The other thing is because we have someone to meet and greet to help direct people to the right service you do have to start your business in front of other people."

But Councillor Duncan Kerr said : "I find the privacy issue completely unacceptable. I've seen people there in emotional distress and other people have clearly been concerned."

Mr Westwood added: "What we need is more privacy but I can't see any way of doing this without encroaching on more space."

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