A CONSULTATION has been launched over the future of Sherborne Tourist Information Centre (TIC).

Dorset Council has launched the consultation looking at the centres in Sherborne, Dorchester and Wareham, which were closed to the public earlier in the year due to the coronavirus pandemic and lockdown restrictions.

Although employees were not in the office, they remained available from Monday to Saturday to provide services.

The TICs have reopened for face to face service with Covid-19 safety measures.

But the council says Covid-19 has highlighted how people need more information and advice about their local area, including services and support.

It said: "During this time, we have worked closely with town and parish councils, strengthening the work we do together. We want to build on these efforts when delivering local information in the future."

Councillor Jill Haynes, Dorset Council portfolio holder for customer, community and regulatory services, said: “Before we make any long-term decisions around our TICs, it’s important for us to measure the importance these services hold with Dorset residents and how people choose to access this information nowadays.

"Whether you represent a business or you’re an individual who uses these facilities, either frequently or once in a blue moon, we want to know your views.

"I would encourage as many people as possible to fill out the online survey as soon as you can. It doesn’t take long and will help us when we come to review the provision of TICs in the future. Thank you in advance for your participation.”

All other TICs in Dorset are currently provided by other organisations and volunteers.

TICs, the council says, are a traditional way to provide face-to-face service for visitors and residents but their use has dropped with developments in technology and online information.

Complete the survey at dorsetcouncil.gov.uk/TIC-consultation by November 29.

To request it in another format call Tracy McGregor on 01305 224458. Paper copies of the survey will also be available in the three TICs.

The results will be considered before any final decisions about TICs are taken. It is expected that the council’s cabinet will make a decision during 2021.