Which services do you want at the new Seven Kings purpose-built library hub?
- Credit: PA Wire/PA Images
Residents have been given the opportunity to co-design a Library hub in Seven Kings.
In November, Redbridge Council unveiled plans to create six new purpose-built facilities in strategic locations including Gants Hill, Wanstead, Ashton’s Playing Field, Hainault and Ilford.
The sites have been chosen following “analysis to determine the most appropriate locations” based upon ease of access, footfall and transport.
Residents are now being asked which services they would like to see at the Seven Kings site and can give their opinions as part of a consultation which runs until April 28, 2019.
Redbridge Council said the hubs will provide a central access point to health, social, cultural and other local resources residents need in one convenient location.
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“This is a really exciting opportunity to proactively work with residents, service users and businesses to design new, accessible and modern state-of-the-art facilities,” said leader of the council, Councillor Jas Athwal.
“This project is all about being ambitious for our borough.
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“Our vision is to provide the very best services to the community through our new hubs, which could see libraries supplemented with children’s centres, co-located with space for the police and our cleansing and enforcement teams.
“Some of the hubs could have leisure facilities attached to it making them truly the beating heart of our local communities in our borough but that will be up to the residents to decide.”
Redbridge cabinet has already approved the principle of the community hubs approach and authorised officers to explore options for sites and to consult with residents and other stakeholders on what they want in their locality.
Consultations on other hubs will run later in the year, with Gants Hill scheduled to begin in summer 2019.
“Together, we will design and determine what the future of our most valued services look like,” added Cllr Athwal.
“Doing nothing is waiting for the inevitable lack of money to dictate which services will have to close in the future.
“That is not an option we should wait for. We must be proactive and improve the services whilst we have the resources.
“Lack of funding from central government has meant some other councils are now simply doing only their statutory requirements as a bare minimum and little else.
“I want much more than that for Redbridge, that’s why we must grasp the mettle whilst we have the opportunity.”
The leader added that he would like to encourage everyone who lives in the Seven Kings neighbourhood to get involved and “help shape, design and co-produce the hub” so the council can deliver the services residents need and want.