Have a say on neighbourhood services

Published on 01 March 2016

PEOPLE in the north west of Leicester will be asked for their views on the future of neighbourhood services in their area.

Proposals have been drawn up by Leicester City Council to look at how services and neighbourhood facilities can be best run in the light of significant Government budget cuts.

The project, known as Transforming Neighbourhood Services (TNS) includes proposals to make better use of community buildings by bringing together the most well-used services in the most accessible venues. Other buildings could be offered for community groups to run, or sold on the open market. 

The latest stage of the TNS programme focuses on Beaumont Leys, Abbey and Western wards, which are now being consulted on the proposed changes.

A public consultation process runs from March 1 to April 11, 2016, for people to give their views on the plans.

An open evening will also take place on Tuesday, March 15, from 6.30pm to 8pm, at Beaumont Leys Library, LE4 1DS.

Proposals include changes and improvements to the services offered at New Parks Centre Library, New Parks Housing Office and the customer service centre.

Community and learning services would be moved from New Parks Community Centre to New Parks Centre, with the building then leased out short term, or demolished if there is no interest in leasing it.

Services from the New Parks STAR office would be moved to the housing office, and the shop re-let. Local partners would be involved in helping increase use of New Parks Youth Centre.

Braunstone Frith Community Centre could be made available for other community groups to run, with help offered to relocate existing groups.

In Beaumont Leys, the library would be refurbished to incorporate Home Farm and Jersey Road housing offices, along with Marwood Road STAR services. Self-service equipment would be made available and community rooms upgraded for wider use. The two housing offices would be marketed commercially and the STAR office re-let.

Home Farm Community Centre would also be made available to community organisations to run under the council’s asset transfer framework, or marketed commercially if there is no community interest.

Changes would also be on the cards for Stocking Farm Community Centre, Youth Centre and Healthy Living Centre. The popular Healthy Living Centre and locally listed farmhouse would provide the focus for community activities, and the outdoor multi-use games area would be retained.

Local young people would then be involved in plans to create space for youth sessions at the Healthy Living Centre and the Tudor Centre. The community hall and youth centre would be demolished, with the land possibly used for housing.

People can find out more details and comment on the proposals at: www.leicester.gov.uk/tns

Leicester assistant city mayor for neighbourhood services, Cllr Kirk Master, said: “The cuts to our funding from the Government mean we’re having to look at ways to make less money go further, and part of our strategy is looking at how to make the best use of buildings and the services they offer.

”We aim to strive to continue to deliver these important services, but from different locations across communities.

“This consultation process is a real chance for people to tell us what is most important to them locally, to allow us an opportunity to continue to deliver services in a more cost effective way.”

Previous TNS work has already seen changes made in communities elsewhere in the city.

In the south of the city, the Pork Pie Centre was refurbished to bring community facilities together under one roof, and released two buildings for alternative use. 

Services from the old Aylestone Library in Richmond Road, which was poorly located and was difficult to access, moved to Aylestone Leisure Centre in July 2013.

Elsewhere, Westcotes Library was refurbished to deliver flexible community space and more public computers.  Three less well used community centres were also transferred to community groups earlier this year.