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Council to consult over Mountain Ash Community Hub proposal

Rhondda Cynon Taf Council will consult local residents over a proposal to create a Community Hub in Mountain Ash. The proposal, if agreed, would see the reconfiguration of Mountain Ash Day Centre.

The Hub would bring a number of important Council services together under one roof for the benefit of the community – and would include Mountain Ash Library moving from its current location to be incorporated alongside employment support services, the One4aLL Centre and a community café. The Hub will also provide dedicated rooms for flexible use by the community.

Following a delegated Officer decision on February 2, which will be implemented on February 12, there will be a focused community consultation over the proposal, taking place over four weeks from Monday, February 26.

Council spoksman said, “The proposal to create the Council’s first Community Hub in Mountain Ash looks to bring together a number of valued services in one building – which has a number of advantages in comparison to the current arrangement.

“The Hub would give residents greater ease of access to services, allow staff to more easily signpost people between services, and ensure each service takes a more visible position within the town centre. Another strength of the Hub model is that it makes the best use of the Council’s valuable assets.

“The Mountain Ash Day Centre building is currently not being used to its full potential, while Mountain Ash Library, in its current location, does not have the facilities to provide a modern library service. The Hub proposal would solve these issues, while making both the Library and Day Centre more sustainable.

“I urge residents to take advantage of the focused four-week consultation which will be undertaken in Mountain Ash from February 26 – to find out more information about and have their say on the Community Hub proposal.”

A report accompanying the decision outlines the benefits of the Hub. It would provide residents with direct access to many Council services which they require on a daily basis, and provide opportunities to receive employment support, as well as information, advice and assistance on a range of issues.

The co-location of services would also enable the Council to provide a facility where food would be available throughout the day, where residents and community groups can meet, and where an enhanced library service can be accessed alongside support for employment and skills development.

The report also outlines the significant changes to the services which libraries are expected to deliver since Mountain Ash Library was built in 1997. Its size and facilities do not offer the services of a modern library – which would be addressed by the proposed Community Hub model. The relocation would also improve visibility within the town centre, as well as parking provision nearby.

During October, Cabinet agreed to a £500,000 investment for the development of Community Hubs across the County Borough – and this funding was subsequently agreed by Full Council in November.

The views conveyed by residents during the public consultation will inform a future decision over the proposal by Cabinet. Details on how residents can have their say will be communicated by the Council in due course.