A SUCCESSFUL community hub scheme which launched in South Ockendon earlier this year is to be rolled out across the borough.

Nine community forums across Thurrock have expressed an interest in having a hub located in their areas and work on providing them will begin in the coming weeks.

Around 30 volunteers have dealt with over 3000 enquiries at the South Ockendon hub, a multi-functioning centre located within the renovated Belhus Library.

The councillor behind the initiative, Cllr Lynn Worrall said she had been “bowled over” by the enthusiasm of communities looking to host hubs in their area as a direct result of the successful pilot scheme in South Ockendon.

Cllr Worrall said: “The hubs programme is truly transforming how residents access and experience services.

“We are at the early stages of understanding how that impacts on savings in other services – but we know it reduces contact with paid staff and helps issues to be resolved quicker and more effectively than traditional routes.

“Over the last few months I have been bowled over by the enthusiasm of forums coming forward to talk about hosting hubs in their area.

“In the next few weeks working groups will be established in key areas to co-plan; co-design and co-deliver hubs in a joint partnership with CVS, forums and communities.”

Leader of the Conservatives Cllr Phil Anderson said: “As Conservatives, we have consistently pushed for properly integrated hubs for council and community services. The Ockendon hub was initially developed in response to a Conservative motion at council, and we’re pleased to see plans to extend the idea to other communities.

"In my own area, I know that community groups in both Stanford-le-Hope and Corringham are keen to look at options in our towns. There are important decisions to be made such as whether the hub operates in both town centres or from a single location, and I will be encouraging everyone to get fully involved as the ideas are developed.”