A new public services hub based at the heart of the Mendip district has been officially opened by Oliver Letwin MP, Minister for Government Policy.
The Shape Mendip Hub in Shepton Mallet has brought a number of leading public service providers together on to one site.
It is a groundbreaking initiative that puts customers at the heart of public service delivery and aims to provide more accessible, streamlined public services while saving the council millions of pounds that can be ploughed back into frontline services.
Public service providers who have already joined Mendip District Council on the Cannards Grave Road site include Somerset County Council, Capita, The Landscape Group and Shepton Mallet Town Council. Avon and Somerset Police are also due to move onto the site shortly. Other key public service and voluntary sector providers are expected to confirm that they will provide services from the hub.
During his visit on Thursday (19th February), Mr Letwin met with representatives from Mendip District Council and other public service providers based at the hub and was taken on a tour of the site. He also cut a ribbon to mark the hub officially ‘open’.
Mr Letwin is the third VIP visitor to the hub, following in the footsteps of Local Government Minister Eric Pickles and Minister for the Cabinet Office, Francis Maude.
The creation of the public hub is a groundbreaking idea from Mendip District Council, which has seen the authority maximise the use of its council offices in Shepton Mallet, saving local taxpayers millions of pounds.
Once staff from all of the other public services have relocated to the hub, almost 600 jobs will be based at the Shepton Mallet site.
Mr Letwin said: “The Shape Mendip Hub is a fantastic example of local government being innovative and forward-thinking.
“The hub will improve access to services for local people by bringing public service providers together on one site and will save the council money that it can re-invest in frontline services.
“Mendip should be congratulated for taking a leading role in such a groundbreaking initiative.”
Harvey Siggs, Leader of Mendip District Council, said: “I’m delighted that Oliver Letwin visited us in Shepton Mallet to announce the Shape Mendip hub as officially open.
“The hub has now been operating successfully for some time and I’m pleased with the positive feedback I’ve received from both residents and those public service providers that have joined us on site.
“The new hub provides an ideal one stop shop for people looking for advice and support from local public service providers, and I look forward to even more partners joining us on site in due course.”
For more information about the Shape Mendip Partnership go to www.mendip.gov.uk/shapemendip
Photos: Oliver Letwin (left, with scissors) and Harvey Siggs.