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Neighbourhood services reorganised

Published on Friday, October 27, 2017

NEIGHBOURHOOD services in the east and central areas of the city are set to be reorganised.

The changes are part of the council’s Transforming Neighbourhood Services project, which is reviewing community provision to make sure that services are affordable and meet local people’s needs.

The city council needs to save £1.7million in neighbourhood services across the city, and is looking at ways of doing this while making sure a wide range of services continue to be delivered. 

In January and February this year, people were asked to put forward their ideas for the reorganisation of services in the area. Following a public consultation on proposals in June and July, a decision has now been made on final recommendations for 11 neighbourhood buildings.

Proposals included investing in St Matthews Centre, which already hosts a wide range of services including a library, youth centre and housing desk. Extra interview rooms will be provided for use by housing customers, and the services offered from St Peter’s neighbourhood housing office will now be incorporated into St Matthews Centre. St Peter’s housing office will instead be converted into additional housing.

The African Caribbean Centre and Highfields library will both be retained. At the African Caribbean Centre, city council staff will work with partners to look at how running costs could be reduced. The library will be redecorated and facilities will be improved.

Knighton and Evington Libraries will also be retained, with new key fob access provided so that local groups can access community space out of hours.

Humberstone and Rowlatts Hill neighbourhood housing offices will see their services move to St Barnabas Library, which will also be fitted out with self-service equipment for improved local access to council services.

The council would then look at options for disposing of the two housing offices, including leasing or selling them.

Coleman Neighbourhood Centre will be retained. The council will work with local groups to increase the use of the neighbourhood centre, and improve self-service access to the building for community groups.

The council will dispose of Coleman Lodge Community Centre and will work with user groups to identify suitable alternative locations for them

Cllr Kirk Master, assistant city mayor responsible for neighbourhood services, said: “Cuts to council budgets from central government mean we’re having to look at different ways of doing things. But we know how much people value having services in their communities, which is why we want to make the best possible use of our buildings and keep services in neighbourhoods.

“We’ll work closely with community groups who are affected by these changes to support them.”

The proposals for the east and central area will achieve a 30% reduction in the running costs for neighbourhood buildings in this area. This represents a saving of £90,000 per year.

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