Coun Peter Box asks: 'Accessible services — what are your views?'

I would like to know which services youd prefer to use locally, says Peter Box.
I would like to know which services youd prefer to use locally, says Peter Box.

Nowadays our time seems more precious than ever with having to juggle different priorities in our home and working lives, writes council leader Peter Box.

Getting the balance right is often difficult and can have a real impact on the quality of our lives.

Businesses, entrepreneurs and inventors are constantly thinking of new ways to helpmake life easier for us, to spend less time on routine things, whilst enabling us tomake the most of our leisuretime.

Like many of you, I find myphone and iPad a quick and easy way to pay bills, keep upwith the latest news, schedule appointments and download the music I like.

The Council’s digital services make it easy for people to report problems online, such as missed bin collections and fly-tipping, as well as paying bills. It’s useful and efficient but we know it’s not the only way to support people.

Sometimes it helps to speak to someone, especially if it’s a complex issue that may require support from a service, or when a more indepth conversation is needed.

Over the years how and where we provide some of these services has changed considerably — from many locally-based services, to a more centralised approach. as trends in behaviour and expectations change, we’ve responded.

You may have noticed that some of our services are again being delivered more locally as we work more closely with some of our key partners — adults Connecting Care Hubs and Children First Hubs are two examples that spring to mind.

I would like to know which services you’d prefer to use locally? Which would you like to access centrally, and which services would you be prepared to access in a different way?

I’d also like to understand what is the biggest challenge for you when accessing our services?

Is it the location, or the times that we deliver services, that we need to reconsider? Would it help to have places where we can offer a mix of services?

Housing, library, jobs and careers, citizens’ advice, council tax and benefits advice, health advice, help for older people, disabled people, children and families? Perhaps a place where you can also report hate incidents or anti-social behaviour rather than having to go to the nearest police station?

Would that save people time, with less travel and with better links to local partners?

I am open to any ideas you may have that support the lives of local residents. a year ago, we opened a registrar service at Pinderfields Hospital which bereaved families have since told us has been a huge relief for them.

Until then they had to collect the medical certificate from the hospital, call the registry office to make an appointment and then attend to register.

Today, it’s a sameday service. Families are already able to make use of our Children First Hubs which offer coordinated support from people like health visitors, school nurses and police community support officers.

There’s no need to go to different offices to seek help for school attendance problems, employment and debt problems, health problems or crime and antisocial behaviour problems. Could community hubs become focal points for community activity and relationship building?

This could give us the opportunity to create an even stronger sense of community and belonging and build on the district’s strengths. As far as possible our services need to be tailored to the needs of our residents.

We want to deliver excellent services for all residents and in a way that people want so that we can help improve the quality of life for everyone.

Let’s be forward thinking and develop our ideas together so that we can make a real and positive impact. you can get in touch by emailing leader@wakefield.gov.uk