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Minister praises community hubs
25 November 2016
Minister for Civil Society Rob Wilson has commended
Medway’s Community Hub programme, which combines library and
customer contact services. The initiative allows residents to
access more services than ever before under one roof, in central
and convenient locations.
The one stop shop approach described by Rob Wilson MP as
‘innovative’ in a letter to Medway’s Council’s Deputy Leader Cllr
Howard Doe, is working well across Medway, and a recent survey
revealed that 89 per cent of hub users thought of their local
community hub as either very important or important to them.
Mr Wilson said of the hub programme: “It’s always good to hear
about councils such as Medway working in support of its local
library services in innovative ways. I’d like to congratulate the
council on all the hard work that has gone into making these
community hubs such a success.
“This work will prove instrumental in ensuring a comprehensive
and sustainable library service maintained across Medway for many
years to come.
“The community hubs not only provide the existing library
service to residents but also the chance to ask questions
face-to-face about other council services.”
Accessing council services
Medway Council has been transforming local communities with the
introduction of hubs in prime central locations since 2013, and now
there are six;
Residents can access council services such as planning, housing,
benefits and environmental services, use computers and free Wi-Fi,
as well as library services and speak to council officers face to
The authority has consistently stated its support for its
libraries and the mobile service for rural areas and schools. Its
dedication to maintain the service in the face of on-going budget
cuts continues, with council leaders and residents believing
libraries are an important community facility.
Space for community groups
Another major part of the hub initiative was to create spaces
for a whole range of community groups and activities, such as baby
groups and homework club. They provide venues for groups to hold
meetings, surgeries and forge productive partnerships. Some of the
groups currently using the facilities in this way include The
Stroke Association, Victim Support, Blue Badge assessment, Deaf
Services Hi Kent and Medway Youth Trust.
Deputy Leader and Portfolio Holder for Community Services Cllr
Howard Doe said: “Our community hubs are vibrant, dynamic places
that offer our customers access to a wide range of services, and I
am pleased to see the hard work that’s gone into creating them and
making them a success, recognised by Minister Rob Wilson.
"Our library service cannot stand still. It is therefore
adapting to changing demands while still meeting the needs of our
customers. That is what we are seeking to achieve through our
community hub programme, and I think it’s safe to say we are