Posted: Sun 25th Jun 2023

Over 6000 people visiting community hubs is ‘key achievement’ /
This article is old - Published: Sunday, Jun 25th, 2023

THE number of people receiving practical support in their own communities shows the value of having community hubs in Blaenau Gwent, a senior councillor has said.
At a meeting of Blaenau Gwent County Borough Council’s Cabinet on Wednesday, June 7, councillors received the Finance and Performance report for 2022/2023.
The report is seen as a key improvement tool and provides the council with a reporting framework to gauge its performance.
During the last year, 6,132 visited the community hubs, and this has been noted in the report as one of the council’s “key achievements” for 2022/2023.
Community hubs as a concept were developed to provide services from libraries.
Their creation in 2021 is a by-product from the council’s decision to close and the subsequent demolition of the former Blaenau Gwent headquarters the Civic Centre in Ebbw Vale.
Staff from the Civic Centre were then spread out to work from other council sites in Blaenau Gwent or from home.
Deputy council leader and environment portfolio holder, Cllr Helen Cunningham said: “It’s good to see that this is linking into our work as an anti-poverty council and the scale of support we are providing.
“These numbers shows the value of people being able to access services face-to-face in their own communities, and we can see the biggest draw there is cost of living support and benefits.
“I found this really valuable just for understanding the practical support we’re giving to people, and it will be useful to see how those numbers change as we progress through this (five year) term.”
Earlier this year Audit Wales published a “Springing Forward” report on the county borough which looked at how Blaenau Gwent is “strengthening its ability to transform, adapt and maintain the delivery of services” from lessons learnt during the Covid-19 pandemic.
The Audit Wales report includes criticism in the way Blaenau Gwent set up its community hubs without residents’ input and that it’s “not clear” what the definition of success is for the hub model.
The number of enquires received by staff at the community hubs are:
Cost of living support – 1,924;
Benefits queries – 1,005;
Blue badges – 937;
Council tax queries – 616;
Fuel bank vouchers – 586;
Bus passes – 402;
Waste and recycling – 242;
Food bank referrals – 213;
Discretionary Assistance Fund applications – 134;
Housing queries – 103. ‌​‌​‌​​​‍‌​‌​​‌‌‌‍‌​‌‌​​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌‌​​

By BBC LDRS ‌​‌​‌​​​‍‌​‌​​‌‌‌‍‌​‌‌​​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌‌​​

Spotted something? Got a story? Email News@News.Wales

More from Blaenau Gwent Council

Further Delays in Setting Up Planning Applications Website in Blaenau Gwent Confirmed

Blaenau Gwent Council

Moves to Turn Blaenau Gwent Council into a More Business Minded Organisation Welcome by Senior Councillors

Blaenau Gwent Council

Extra Conditions Imposed on Planning Permission for Tredegar Cemetery Extension

Blaenau Gwent Council

Welsh Government Planning Inspectors Overturn Blaenau Gwent Council’s Decision on Ebbw Vale Garage Extension

Blaenau Gwent Council

Disappointment as Welsh Government approves windfarm plans in Blaenau Gwent

Blaenau Gwent Council

Council Approves Controversial Home Bargains Store Development in Ebbw Vale

Blaenau Gwent Council

Latest from News.Wales

Public Consultation Launched for ‘No-Gas’ Housing Development Near Maesteg

Bridgend Council

Opponents of Proposed “Super-Estate” in Wrexham Call for Public Meeting

Wrexham Council

Disused Newport leisure centre deemed safe by council officials

Newport Council

Plans Revealed for Fourth Phase of Rhondda Fach Active Travel Route

Rhondda Council

Fear of Diluted Local Voice in Vale of Glamorgan Community Council Changes

Vale of Glamorgan Council

Smallest School in Rhondda Cynon Taf to Close Despite Strong Opposition

Rhondda Council