Ashfield’s Community hub set to open

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The official opening of Ashfield’s Integrated Services Hub, which brings police and council officers together in shared office accommodation, is taking place on Monday, January 23.

Guests including Nottinghamshire Police and Crime Commissioner Paddy Tipping, Ashfield District Council Leader Cheryl Butler, Deputy Chief Constable Simon Torr, and Councillor Alice Grice, Vice-Chair of Community Safety Committee at Nottinghamshire County Council are to meet at the Hub to declare it officially open, have a look around and chat with staff.

Also in attendance will be representatives from Nottinghamshire Fire and Rescue Service, the local Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG), Women’s Aid Integrated Services and the Reducing Reoffending Partnership

Based at the Council Offices in Kirkby, the Hub includes a police counter for public enquiries and initially involves police, council and community safety team staff. It is hoped that other partners will move in over time to make the team even stronger.

There are many examples of community hubs working successfully in England including other areas of Nottinghamshire. Those living and working in Ashfield will see few obvious changes, continuing to report crime and anti-social behaviour in the same ways as before.

Those involved say, however, that everyone will benefit from the joined-up, pro-active response that the hub allows. It means organisations can share information, respond effectively and avoid duplication. Better communication and smarter working happen automatically from being together.

Integrated working helps to save money too; while there has been upfront investment in the new facility it will bring continual on-going savings for both the police and the council.

Police Inspector, Glenn Longden, said: “We have always shared the aim of making Ashfield a safer place where people are cared for and protected. By coming together in the Hub and working towards that goal jointly we will achieve even better results.”

Rob Mitchell, Chief Executive at Ashfield District Council added: “The launch of the Hub is a significant achievement and helps deliver part of the Council’s Corporate plan. We are committed to re-designing public services to ensure they are as effective and efficient as they can be and based on the customers’ needs. The Hub is a significant step forwards in improving our services and support for residents, especially at a time when our resources are reducing.

“We plan to develop the Hub further with the integration of more partners and, as a result, to provide even better services to our communities.”