We asked for people’s views on the way that we provide neighbourhood services in the west area of the city. Our proposals included changing the way that we use community buildings to deliver services. The proposals were drawn up following a previous consultation where we asked for more general views on what neighbourhood services might look like in the future.
That there is good support for some of our proposals, including making improvements to Westcotes Library, keeping Fosse Library and the Woodgate Resources Centre.
That community groups need training, guidance and support so that they understand what is expected of them if they decide to take over the day-to-day running of community buildings.
That there are concerns about the possibility of having no local community facility in the north area of Braunstone.
That there are concerns around the consequences for existing groups, if centres change to be managed by outside organisations rather than by the council.
The proposals mean that services provided in the west area of the city are protected. Several buildings in the area will have a new future providing a wider range of neighbourhood services under one roof.
We will provide support sessions for community organisations to advise them on how to develop a business case if they wish to take over the running of an available building.
We used the views expressed to refine the proposals and to ensure that a local community facility remains in the north area of Braunstone.
Plans are being developed for all of the buildings that are no longer required for community use. This means that they will not remain empty, but will either be reused, or they will be demolished so that the land can be used for housing development, or ownership of the building will be transferred to another group or organisation. The council will work with existing groups to ensure that their needs are considered when any changes in the arrangements for the management of buildings are agreed.
In April 2013, Leicester City Council announced a programme to reorganise neighbourhood services across the city. This includes libraries, community centres, adult learning and local customer service points.
Significant cuts in government funding mean that we cannot continue to run services as we do now. But before drawing up any proposals, we wanted to talk to local communities to find out what they wanted from their services in future.
We are considering six areas of the city in turn. The west area of Leicester is the second one we have looked at: Braunstone and Rowley Fields, Fosse, Westcotes, and Western Park wards.
In spring 2014, we held focus groups across the west area; there was also a questionnaire (paper and online). In total over 500 people gave their views. You can read a summary of the responses online at consultations.leicester.gov.uk/we_asked_ you_said or pick up a copy in your library or community centre.
Why We Are Consulting
We have listened to all of the views that were put forward. We also collected information about council buildings in the area to find out what they are used for, running costs and how many people use them.
Now we have developed a way forward and we would like to know your views. These proposals bring services together and make savings.
We are holding an event to discuss the proposals on 28 July, 6.30-8pm at the BRITE Centre. Please come along, or give us your views online.