Leeds council services pop up in GP surgery and converted pub

Councillors met at Civic Hall to hear about the latest progress with the community hubs programme.
Councillors met at Civic Hall to hear about the latest progress with the community hubs programme.

A community centre, a pub converted into a charity base and a GP surgery are among the venues hosting city council ‘pop-up’ sessions designed to get its support services out into neighbourhoods across Leeds.

Details of the pilot were shared with a watchdog panel as they received an update on a community hubs programme.

Susan Murray, head of customer contact, told councillors: “It’s about going to places where there’s a need but there’s no council building.

“The pop-ups running at the moment are all different. What we’re seeing is who comes through the door, how they found out about the pop-up and what their issues are.”

The programme began with the opening of hubs in Armley, the Compton Centre and St George’s Centre in 2014 and has seen seven more created to date.

The next is scheduled to open at Bramley Library on October 16, with Headingley and Morley’s libraries to follow.

But a report to the council’s Environment, Housing and Communities Scrutiny Board said the listed status of Morley and the lease for Headingley meant they were complex.

Five other sites had been identified as part of phase two, and Ms Murray said consultation was due to begin on possible sites for a third set of hubs.

The report also revealed that the locating of a Post Office branch in Seacroft Community Hub had sparked interest from the company about the potential to do this elsewhere.

It would create income for the council and safeguard local branches at the same time.

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