The Minister of State for Employment, the Rt. Hon. Priti Patel MP, has been given a tour of West Lindsey District Council’s Public Service Hub, located at the Guildhall in Gainsborough, to see how the joined up approach is helping people get back into work.
It is one of the first arising from the Council working in partnership with Job Centre Plus, Citizens Advice and Voluntary Centre Services. Conservative Leader of West Lindsey District Council, Cllr. Jeff Summers was delighted to welcome the minister to the Public Services Hub. He said:
“The visit was a great opportunity to demonstrate how well West Lindsey District Council have brought together on one site a range of services, which assist residents through a difficult and sometimes traumatic period in their life.
“The Department of Work and Pensions and the voluntary sector work together to support people back into work. West Lindsey was among the first district councils in the country to offer a range of different services under one roof as well as improved customer care.
“The dedicated staff at West-Lindsey have piloted this innovative co-location for The Department of Work and Pensions ready to roll out nationally.”
West Lindsey District Council set up a Public Services Hub in January 2014 to support the local community. It helps people in all other aspects of getting into work including work experience and volunteering.
There is also free IT access, with staff on hand to guide people using the internet for a range of activities including; searching and apply for jobs to paying their council tax online. Priti Patel MP commented:
“I was very impressed to see first-hand how the co-location of the Jobcentre Plus, the council and other partners are working together to support local people into work and volunteering. This is a great example of partnership working.
“At a time when we have a record number of people in work and jobs vacancies at an all-time high, there are a wealth of opportunities available, delivering economic security for Britain.”
Cllr. Giles McNeill, who represents the Nettleham ward, and was responsible for organisation of the ministerial visit said:
“It was great to spend time with the minister from the time she arrived in the county until her departure. We had some very productive conversations in the car and she was clearly impressed with the working being done at West Lindsey’s Guildhall.
“As we drove to her next event in Lincoln I was proud to be able to brief the minister on a number of important issues facing the district. I think she appreciated the challenges we face in a rural part of the country like Lincolnshire and I am reassured that the government keeps our unique qualities in mind when taking decision that affect our communities.”
The Public Service Hub is open 9am-5pm Monday and Tuesday, 10am-5pm Wednesday and 9am-5pm Thursday and Friday.