Services Hub for a safer Chester
17 March 2021The future of services to protect the public in Chester City Centre begins to take on a new shape this week as Cheshire West and Chester Council and Cheshire's Police and Crime Commissioner launch their vision for a multi-agency hub.
The plan for the hub is that frontline Council staff will share the same space as Police colleagues in a city centre location. It would give residents and visitors easy access to a range of services, information and support under one roof.
The core team operating from the hub would include police staff, High Street Officers and Community Safety Officers. The wider team, who would use the base on a drop-in basis, would include Youth Workers, Licensing Officers, Planning, Highways and Streetcare staff.
The hub will be a single point of entry for services provided by the police, Council and other organisations to keep residents and visitors safe and support local businesses to safely re-open. It will open to the public seven days a week.
People visiting the city centre for shopping or leisure will be able to make inquiries about the issues affecting them and receive on-the-spot support.
Leader of Cheshire West and Chester Council, Cllr Louise Gittins, said: “The multi-agency hub represents the vision for the future of public services in Chester City Centre.
“When people interact with public services they want to do it in the quickest, easiest and most efficient way possible. Above all, they want immediate support with the queries they have. They do not want to be sent from one office to another to get all the help they need.
“Locating key public services in one place makes perfect sense and is something that we believe that residents and visitors to the city will really appreciate.
“We are looking forward to progressing the plans for our multi-agency hub with our partners for the benefit of the community we serve.”
Cllr Gittins added: "This initiative forms part of the extensive plans for the safe re-opening of the high street, aiming to make Chester one of the safest and most welcoming cities as public health restrictions are carefully and gradually eased."
The core team will include police officers and PCSOs, Community Safety Wardens and High Street Officers.
The partners are currently considering several city-centre sites for the hub.
Chief Constable Darren Martland, of Cheshire Constabulary said: “We’re committed to doing all we can to make Chester a safer place to live, work and visit.
“In order to achieve this it’s essential that we work closely with our partners to address issues and concerns raised by residents and visitors.
“The proposed city centre hub will not only enable us to work together more efficiently, it will also provide a quick one-stop-solution to ensure that issues are addressed at the first point of contact.”
David Keane, Police and Crime Commissioner for Cheshire, said: “This common sense approach puts public accessibility first and I’m working to make sure these plans incorporate a city centre police station, which will act as a beacon of safety. This is one of my key budgets for the coming year and after meeting with representatives from the business community and residents’ groups, it is clear to me that this is a shared vision. I am committed to working closely with partners to make that vision a reality.”