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Mountain Ash Community Hub proposal agreed

Cabinet has agreed to proposals to introduce a Community Hub model to deliver a range of services in Mountain Ash – which will retain and improve upon the current offer in the town.

On Thursday, April 19, Cabinet Members agreed with recommendations in an Officer report to introduce the Community Hub approach at the currently under-utilised Mountain Ash Day Centre.

The Community Hub will provide a range of citizen-based services in one building. This model has many advantages – more-fit-for-purpose buildings, a better public service offer and a more accessible and cost-effective approach.

In Mountain Ash, the Council will develop the current Day Centre, providing a range of services under one roof – including a relocated library which will be a similar size to the current facility. The new facility will also include flexible community rooms, something the current library does not have.

The wider Community Hub will incorporate employment support services and a One4aLL service, as well as 13 public access computers and a community café-style food outlet continuing to serve hot and cold food. The majority of clubs and activities currently offered at the Day Centre will be continued.

A four-week consultation in early 2018 included a survey, drop-in events, emailing 1,974 library users and promotion through the Cynon Valley Older Person’s Advisory Group. The Council will continue to engage with service users in the local area to ensure the services offered at the new Community Hub will meet the needs of residents in Mountain Ash.

Council spokesperson, said: “Cabinet has agreed to introduce a Community Hub model in Mountain Ash, which will retain important aspects of the current provision while benefitting from the many advantages of bringing a number of services together on one site.

“The Hub model makes services more accessible to residents, and allows staff to signpost people between services more efficiently. It also makes the most of the Council’s valuable assets, delivering more fit-for-purpose and flexible buildings with more prominent visibility within their community. The approach will see targeted investment improving frontline services and Council assets.

“In Mountain Ash a number of services – including the existing Day Centre – will be brought together, retaining a similar-sized Library and a café-style food outlet continuing to serve hot food. The Council has committed to further consultation with residents, to ensure they are part of the process moving forward, and that the Community Hub meets their needs and expectations

“During October 2017, Cabinet agreed a £500,000 investment to further develop Community Hubs across the County Borough, and has already had success in this approach by locating services at Porth Plaza – which will be further developed in the future. The Council has also supported Age Connects Morgannwg’s £1.1m Community Hub plan in Aberdare, agreeing a leasehold transfer of St. Mair’s Day Centre.”

At Thursday’s meeting, Cabinet also approved a phased approach to developing 10 Community Hubs across the County Borough over a three-year period.

Posted on Wednesday 25th April 2018