Complaints lead to review of TIC

Felixstowe Library

Felixstowe Library - Credit: Archant

Community leaders are going to review provision of tourist information in a seaside town and take action to make it more effective.

Felixstowe’s Tourist Information Centre (TIC) was moved from its position on the seafront earlier this year to the resort’s library in the town centre as part of a one-stop-shop for council services – but there have been complaints at the lack of signs pointing to the new facility.

Former councillor Margaret Morris said 20,000 people attended the Art on the Prom event but there were no signs directing people to the the library, and the Town Hall, which has some leaflets about attractions and events, was closed.

She said: “There is also no sign outside the library saying it is the TIC and no-one there on a Saturday or Sunday with a knowledge of events in the town.

“Ironically, we still have signs on pointing to the Felixstowe Magistrates’ Court, even though it was closed 15 years ago.”

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Mayor Doreen Savage said a new tourism working group had been formed as part of the Felixstowe Forward project and would be reviewing the operation of the new one-stop-shop, particularly the TIC element.

She said: “This is something we are going to be following up. Everyone is aware that the system we have is not quite as good as it could be and we need to look at how we can make it better and help tourists.”

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Andy Smith, cabinet member for economic development, which includes tourism, said the system just needed a tweak and officers would be asked to look into the matter.

Since the services were moved to the library – including tax and housing inquiries, and customer services – Felixstowe Library has opened on Mondays for the first time with its hours extended as part of the partnership arrangement.

Council officials hailed the change as a success and said services could be extended in future.

TJ Haworth-Culf, Suffolk Coastal’s cabinet member for customers, communities and leisure, said: “The key to this partnership project is our desire to bring improved services into the heart of Felixstowe, while also making best use of our limited resources and providing local tax payers with value for money.

“Previously, people from Felixstowe would have to travel to Woodbridge to access some of these services. Now they are available in the heart of their local community.”

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