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'Long overdue' one-stop hub for residents of Chatham Court flats in Newark - blighted by crime and anti-social behaviour - gets go-ahead




Work on a new community hub, transforming a former council flat in Newark into a one-stop-shop for a range of services and initiatives is getting underway.

Due to open in April, residents will benefit from face-to-face contact for a variety of enquiries about council and partner services, including housing and tenancy support as well community safety and security concerns.

The hub is part of the £550k Safer Streets project, led by the Nottinghamshire Police and Crime Commissioner (PCC) which forms a package of measures to reduce crime, increase public safety and improve the lives of people in areas of Newark.

The flat, bottom right, that will be converted into the Chatham Court Community Hub. (43935473)
The flat, bottom right, that will be converted into the Chatham Court Community Hub. (43935473)

The project is a partnership between the PCC, Nottinghamshire Police, Newark and Sherwood District Council and Nottinghamshire County Council to improve security in areas particularly affected by acquisitive crimes such as burglary, vehicle theft and robbery.

Chatham Court in Newark, 1960s rendered blocks of flats blighted by crime and anti-social behaviour in the past, was an area identified to benefit from the scheme and upon consultation with residents, additional community support was recognised as a factor which would make local residents feel safer.

Police Commissioner Paddy Tipping, visiting Furniture Project to see how it helps offenders on Community Payback scheme. L-R Paddy Tipping talking to volunteers who were on the Community Payback scheme Rob Hallam and John Garrad.. (5160179)
Police Commissioner Paddy Tipping, visiting Furniture Project to see how it helps offenders on Community Payback scheme. L-R Paddy Tipping talking to volunteers who were on the Community Payback scheme Rob Hallam and John Garrad.. (5160179)

The district council's planning committee officially approved the change of use of the flat on Tuesday, and work is now getting underway to convert the former one bedroom, ground floor flat at Chatham Court.

A new, ramped external entrance is being added to the front to give independent access and computers with internet access will be available for residents to use.

The hub will be open between 9am and 4pm, Monday to Friday, but will also be used on an ad-hoc basis for other community-led services from the police and county council.

Newark and Sherwood District Council leader David Lloyd. (9098425)
Newark and Sherwood District Council leader David Lloyd. (9098425)

David Lloyd, leader of Newark and Sherwood District Council, said: “Residents will benefit from being able to access multiple services for issues that matter most to them, on one site, right in the heart of Chatham Court. Additional community support is one way to help residents feel safer and more supported and I’m sure the new hub will be a huge asset to the community.”

Police and Crime Commissioner Paddy Tipping said: “This is a really exciting resource for people who live in Chatham Court and will make it much easier to access the support, information and services they need to improve their lives and resolve any issues they have.

Window which will be converted to an entrance to allow independent access to the Community Hub. (43935481)
Window which will be converted to an entrance to allow independent access to the Community Hub. (43935481)

“I’m really grateful to the team at Newark and Sherwood District Council for their hard work and dedication in making the Community Hub a reality. One of the challenges of any community is ensuring vulnerable residents have access to a network of support to reduce isolation and improve safety. Through the Safer Streets project, this facility will be a huge addition to the community."

Inspector Heather Sutton. (6916853)
Inspector Heather Sutton. (6916853)

Neighbourhood Policing Inspector for Newark and Sherwood Heather Sutton said: “The hub is a really positive development for the area which will offer further vital support to the community.

“Tackling crime such as burglary, vehicle theft and robbery is absolutely a priority in the area. This project is very much welcome and we hope that by creating this hub in the heart of the area, residents will feel safer and community support will be improved.

“Having one place to go will not only make it easier for people to make enquiries about concerns they have in the local area, but it will help us deliver crime prevention, work more closely with our partners and join forces in our continued efforts to support locals and tackle crime and other issues which may affect them.”

Laurence Goff. (43954935)
Laurence Goff. (43954935)

District council ward member Laurence Goff, speaking at the planning committee, said: "This is long overdue. I do welcome this investment in a drop-in service people will use to report things.

"I will also use it for a surgery as soon as it is allowed."



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