An Integrated Services Hub in Ashfield which has brought police and council officers together in shared office accommodation is “already exceeding expectations,” guests at its official opening were told today. (Monday, January 23)
Speaking at the event, Service Director Edd de Coverly said that the Hub is reducing costs, improving communications and making the organisation of working in partnership easier than ever before.
“Teams are planning joint operations which will be delivered in the next few weeks,” he said. “We are blending our cultures, improving understanding and as a result the Hub is already exceeding expectations.”
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. Environmental Health, consisting of a Commercial Team and Environmental Protection, Private Sector Housing, Licensing and Pest Control as well as the Housing Options team have also moved in.
The Hub has been operational for three weeks with the official opening taking place to give those involved and other organisations an opportunity to officially launch it, see it in operation and chat with staff based in it.
Guests included Nottinghamshire Police and Crime Commissioner Paddy Tipping, Ashfield District Council Leader Cheryl Butler, Deputy Chief Constable Simon Torr, and Cllr Glynn Gilfoyle, Portfolio Holder for Community Safety Committee at Nottinghamshire County Council.
Also in attendance were representatives from Nottinghamshire Fire and Rescue Service, the local Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG), Women's Aid Integrated Services and the Reducing Reoffending Partnership
Ashfield Chief Executive Rob Mitchell, Police Chief Inspector Neil Williams and Council Leader Cheryl Butler all underlined how positive the integration is proving. “This is an excellent day for public services in Ashfield,” Cllr Butler said.
Staff based in the Hub told visitors that being able to share information, plan work together without the need to set up meetings or wait for answers to emails and to bring their skills together to identify solutions is hugely beneficial.
“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,” says Police Inspector Glenn Longden.
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.”
Ashfield District Council and Notts Police hope that in time the Hub will develop further with the integration of more partners and, as a result, will provide even better services to the communities of Ashfield.