Councils feel more thought needed on public sector hub
PLANS for a public sector hub in Bordon’s new town centre will be included in public consultations due to be held before the end of the year.
Whitehill Town Council agreed to the vision of housing organisations like the district council, county council, police and health organisations in one building during a meeting in May.
The plan to house the hub in the former sergeant’s mess building at Prince Philips Barracks is part of the town centre redevelopment project, which forms part of the eco-town plans for Whitehill and Bordon. In draft plans for the new town centre, it is proposed the mess building is retained and the area surrounding it would become a new town square.
The town council’s vision for the hub is for local authority and public sector offices to be housed under one roof so residents can access services in one place in the future.
After it was agreed, the vision was sent to Hampshire County Council (HCC) and East Hampshire District Council (EHDC) to seek their views on the idea.
Town clerk Chris Youngs met with Tom Horwood and Steve Pearce from EHDC and Howard Short and Richard Oldham from HCC last month to discuss the vision.
However, the councils did not totally share the vision for the former mess building to be the single solution for a public sector hub in the town.
They felt flexibility in the way services could be provided at the hub was key to the plan so the building could change as and when changes to service provision were made as well.
The council officers also felt the hub needed to reflect a modern approach to service delivery and the involvement of police and health services in the hub needed to be fully considered as well.
It was suggested during the meeting that the hub vision should be included in the development brief for the new town centre and the community engagement strategy – both of which are due to be the subject of consultations before the end of the year.
The group agreed to meet again in January to consider the outcomes of the two public consultations.
In the long term, the group also suggested that a business case and feasibility study needed to be completed for the hub vision, to ensure being located alongside commercial development in the new town centre was the best place for it.
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Wednesday 18 December 2013
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