Started in the summer of 2011, the scheme has brought a wide range of public services providers together on to one site, a ‘hub’ at the centre of the Mendip district, to improve service delivery for local residents.
At the same time, by improving, refurbishing and rationalising its Cannards Grave Road offices, the council has been able to generate much needed additional income streams by renting out its office space to those partners that have joined them on site.
As the project moves forward, a meeting of the council’s Scrutiny Board on Monday night (20th July) heard how there are now around 30 different public services providers delivering services or co-locating alongside Mendip at the Shape Mendip Hub in Shepton Mallet.
Partners co-locating are:
- Somerset County Council (including the registration service)
- Avon and Somerset Constabulary
- The Landscape Group
- South West Audit Partnership
- Shepton Mallet Town Council
- Health Connections Mendip
- To Health
- Mendip YMCA
Mendip CAB and Mendip Community Support are set to join the Hub later this year.
Partners delivering services from the site include Elim Connect Centre, Somerset Waste Partnership, Keyring Lettings, Aster Communities, Fusion Lifestyle, Strode College, Somerset Skills & Learning, Department for Work & Pensions, Somerset You Can Do and Aspire Support for Work.
Mendip’s success in establishing the Hub has been supported by impressive projected financial savings – more than £4million over the next 20 years. These savings will ensure the council is able to continue to deliver frontline services to residents in the face of a major reduction in funding from central government.
The project has also introduced new and flexible working arrangements for staff across the authority as well as creating a more pleasant place to work – a recent staff survey showed that 91% of respondents were satisfied or very satisfied with the new work environment.
Cllr Damon Hooton, Chair of the council’s Scrutiny Board, said: “The success of the Shape Mendip project reflects very well on this council and its staff. It’s no surprise that other local authorities from around the country have visited the Hub to find out more about what we have done here at Mendip.
“While the project will deliver much-needed savings for the council over the coming years, I’m confident that the real winners will be Mendip’s residents, who can look forward to a more streamlined experience when they contact the council or our partners.”
Cllr Philip Ham, Portfolio Holder for Transformation at Mendip District Council, said: “The success of the Shape Mendip project once again demonstrates how innovative and forward-thinking this council can be.
“In the face of ever-decreasing funding from central government we are having to do more for less. Through the Shape Mendip project we have not only found ways to generate additional income to provide frontline services, but have established a popular public services hub in the centre of the district which will lead to improved service delivery and a better experience for our customers.”
Police Inspector Mark Nicholson, Neighbourhood Manager for Mendip, said: “The local policing team at Shepton Mallet is excited to be part of the Shape Mendip Hub.
“We are based in a better working environment and are working alongside our key public service partners who share our vision of making Mendip an even safer place to live and work.”