Comments invited on community ‘hub’ proposal
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South Gloucestershire residents are being invited to have their say on plans for a new kind of community services ‘hub’ for the Kingswood area.
Under the plans the council is proposing to bring together Kingswood’s library and one-stop shop with local public toilets and services from other organisations, in one single location.
The proposals form part of the council’s six-year savings programme and aim to reduce the services’ combined running costs while making it easier for local people to access services from a range of providers.
Plans for community hubs in up to three other locations will also be explored as part of the project during the coming months.
Chair of the council’s Communities Committee Cllr Claire Young said: “This project is a good example of how we’re exploring new and efficient ways to deliver council services, as part of our six-year savings programme.
“Like all local authorities we need to make big savings as we adjust to national austerity measures and it’s important we look at all possible ways to make services more affordable.
“In this instance, we’re looking to reduce operating costs by bringing services together under one roof, which could also be more convenient for customers and improve access to services.
“It also help us work more closely with partners such as the police by giving them the opportunity to deliver services from the hubs as well.”
The council’s £36m savings programme was approved in February 2014 and sets out the savings needed to help the council balance its budget as it adapts to national austerity measures and public sector spending reductions.
Through the programme, the council will work with local people to review its priorities and ensure that its more limited resources are focused on its core activities.
Options to make services more affordable by delivering them in innovative and cost-effective ways – such as in partnership with the local community or by sharing them with other organisations – will also be explored through the programme.
The Kingswood Hub consultation runs until 31 January 2015 and councillors are expected to make a decision on the proposal later next year.
Further information about the consultation is available via the council’s website, or from the Kingswood One Stop Shop and library.
Residents can find out more about the savings programme at www.southglos.gov.uk/csp
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