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Consultation on neighbourhood services in east and central areas

Published on 14 June 2017

A CONSULTATION is being launched asking people to give their views on plans to reorganise neighbourhood services in the east and central areas of the city.

The consultation, which runs from 14 June until 25 July, is asking for people’s opinions on proposals for how neighbourhood services are delivered in the wards of Castle, Evington, North Evington, Spinney Hills, Stoneygate and Wycliffe.

It’s 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. 

Overall, the city council is having to make savings of £55 million across all of its services, on top of £100million it has already made. 

In January and February this year, people were asked to put forward their ideas for the reorganisation of services in the area. These ideas have been considered and the city council is now consulting on specific proposals for change.

Proposals include investing in St Matthews Centre, which already hosts a wide range of services including a library, youth centre and housing desk. Extra interview rooms would be provided for use by housing customers.

The services offered from St Peter’s neighbourhood housing office would then be incorporated into the housing services offered from St Matthews Centre. St Peter’s housing office would instead be converted into additional housing.

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

Knighton Library would also be retained under the proposals, with new key fob access provided so that local groups can access  community space out of hours.

Humberstone and Rowlatts Hill neighbourhood housing offices would see their services moved to St Barnabas Library, which would 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 and Evington Library would both be retained under the proposals. The council would work with local groups to increase the use of the neighbourhood centre, and key fob access would be installed at the library so that community groups can use it out of hours.

The final proposal is to look at options to dispose of Coleman Lodge community centre, including sale, lease or clearance for potential housing development. The council would work with groups that currently use the building to identify the best alternative location for their needs.

Cllr Kirk Master, assistant city mayor responsible for neighbourhood services, said: “These are just proposals at this stage – now we’re asking for people’s views on them.

“We have to make these changes because of the cuts to council budgets. But we know how much people value having services in their communities. Maximising the use of our buildings means we can continue to provide these services in neighbourhoods.

 “We’ve already asked people to tell us what services they value and what ideas they might have – now we’re asking for comments on these more specific proposals.”

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

To take part in the consultation, pick up a paper form from council venues across the wards of Castle, Evington, North Evington, Spinney Hills, Stoneygate and Wycliffe.

People can also attend a public consultation event at Coleman Neighbourhood Centre on Wednesday 5 July at 6.30pm, or one at St Matthews Centre on Tuesday 11 July at 6.30pm.

Alternatively, take part in the consultation online at www.leicester.gov.uk/tns

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