Councillors support plan for Weston-super-Mare town centre community hub to tackle health issues
PUBLISHED: 09:00 19 June 2017
A community hub in Weston-super-Mare which houses council services like a GP surgery and children’s centre would offer ‘immense’ benefits and be ‘a real asset the town centre’, according to two North Somerset councillors.
The council revealed its Weston Central One Public Estate project last month, which aims to tackle ‘long-standing concerns’ over health and social infrastructure in the town centre.
North Somerset Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) and the council have held talks in recent weeks to form a strategy to deal with health concerns in Weston.
The council published a report last month announcing it had appointed experts to assess the feasibility of a ‘modern multi-use facility’ in central Weston.
And Central ward councillors Richard Nightingale and Mike Bell have welcomed the news the council is hoping to tackle town centre health issues.
Cllr Nightingale told the Mercury: “Central ward residents have not had access to facilities that many of us take for granted. These issues have existed for many years and this is something I am determined cannot continue.
“A health and wellbeing hub will bring quality healthcare along with a multitude of other services to the heart of the town centre. Its benefit to residents will be immense, helping to address many of the issues which affect their daily lives.”
Earlier this year, the Mercury reported Central ward has higher levels of poverty and lower life expectancy than anywhere else in North Somerset.
Cllr Bell said the hub could offer ‘exciting’ opportunities for the town centre.
He added: “I’ve been campaigning for a community facility for Weston Central ward for many years and it is great to see some signs of progress.
“A community hub that might be able to bring together health, the children’s centre, community meeting space, job clubs and more, would be a real asset to the town centre.
“We know Central ward has high levels of inequality and we need to address that. A community hub is an important part of it.
“However, these things take time to come to fruition, so we need to keep holding the feet of decision makers to the fire to keep the momentum going.”