To consider the continuation of the Community Centre Saturday opening Provision.
The Committee considered a report from the Strategic Lead for Independent Living on the Continuation of the Community Centre Saturday Opening. The initial continuation of this provision was agreed by this Committee on 28 March 2023, and members were now asked to consider a further extension which would be reviewed in six months.
An update on numbers attending both the Fordbridge and Greeno Community Centres was provided to demonstrate the success of this scheme. This included 400 attendees at Fordbridge Centre over the summer, and 142 attendees at the Greeno Centre which provided for the most vulnerable groups.
Opportunities for the funding of this continued provision were also highlighted. An additional estimated cost profile of £42,015 would be added to the Independent Living budget; There was appetite to fund this through the cost of living fund for a further six months, or alternatively through the NWS Alliance Prevention Fund. It was noted for this initiative to become a permanent provision, a growth bid would need to be submitted to account for additional budget implications.
The Committee queried the transport arrangements available for vulnerable attendees. It was confirmed that centre minibuses operated on a Saturday to meet transport demands. The Committee also queried whether Secondary Schools were aware of weekend volunteering opportunities available at the Community Centres. The Committee were informed that there had been engagement with local schools, however due to the vulnerabilities of some attendees staff were required to undertake enhanced DBS checks.
The Committee resolved to:
1)continue to endorse the Council’s approach of expanding the Community Centres provision to take account of the impact of current cost of living, energy and social isolation crisis on our communities.
2)continue with the provision of opening at least one community centre within the borough of Spelthorne for 6 days a week, which is currently in place throughout the winter period, engaging centre staff to provide the additional provision.
3)Fund the Community Centres provision through the Spelthorne Borough Council Cost of Living Fund for the period of a further six months.