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Hannah Roberts at Failsworth Town Hall
Hannah Roberts at Failsworth Town Hall
Published: Friday, 24th March 2023

More council and partner services are being moved into the heart of communities, as part of Oldham Council's "Residents First" pledge.

The first of the council's five districts to benefit from the improvements is South district - incorporating Failsworth, Hollinwood and Medlock Vale - with new services now available for residents at Failsworth Town Hall.

Services now located in the town hall and library building include Citizens Advice, Housing Options, TOG Mind, and the Council’s Support and Inclusion Team, meaning people can get appointments closer to home rather than having to travel further afield.

Local services are also being put in place in other venues, such as weekly Citizens Advice sessions at Limeside Library, to make these services easier to access.

Councillor Hannah Roberts, Cabinet Member for Neighbourhoods, said: "The changes we've put in place in South distrct are the first step in making council buildings in all of our districts more user-friendly; all as part of our ongoing commitment to put residents first and bring more services into the heart of our districts.

"We also hope that by making help and support more accessible, and bringing different organisations together under one roof, any problems people are having can be identified and tackled sooner.

"At the same time, we have improved the building itself, to make it more welcoming. The previous signage did not make it clear where people needed to go for their appointments or where to find services.

"This may sound like a minor issue, but if people need our help and support, it's crucial that we make it as easy as possible for them to do so - by providing services closer to home, and then making our buildings as user-friendly as we can."

These changes in the South district represent the first stage in providing services in districts across Oldham, bringing different organisations together to better meet the needs of residents and communities.

Being based together in neighbourhoods, staff from different organisations can better share information, work with communities and better ensure people get support at an earlier stage, when they need it.

Jamie McGlynn from Citizens Advice Oldham said: "These changes mean we are able to be within the community and build relationships with partners that better the clients' experiences and journeys.

"Clients can be in an area where they have a connection and reduce the need for them to travel, and most importantly, we are visible and access to advice is streamlined and accessible."

Meanwhile, new signage has been installed both inside and outside Failsworth Town Hall, to make the new range of services on offer to residents clearer.

Changes inside mean that people using the building can find their way around more easily, while a new "check in" screen displays the range of services on offer at the town hall on a particular day, so people can see what's available and where they need to go.

Similar improvements will follow in the council's four other district areas - east, west, north and central - over the coming months.

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