(Item7) Taking the Year in Review (2015) Wednesfield North -The Hub!

The Hub at Ashmore Park – Welcome Hub at Ashmore ParkThe Hub has been opened just a Year in September.

Cllr Rita Potter played a lead role in its inception and development using her political skills within the City Council when asked to do so by the Ashmore Park Community Association, and again all three of your Councillor play an active part in liaising and supporting the Volunteers and the CA as they steer the Hub’s progress and growth.

IMG_6619 Volunteers Hub 2015

Volunteers celebrating their one year old anniversary at the Hub at Ashmore Park in September of 2015

The management and development of the Hub is firmly in the hands of Volunteers (CA) who operate and run the Ashmore Park Community Association. It is these great people who have the Licence for the daily operation of the Hub. It remains perhaps the most exciting Community facility in this Ward for decades. The Ashmore Park Library located at the Hub is recognised as being the 8th most used Library in the City.

Activities taking place at the Hub include Under 12 disco’s, Multi sports for 11 year olds, plus a Photography Club. There are often new activities seen at the Hub, include events like a sewing class and massage and reiki treatments. The Community Development Foundation’s ‘Community First Neighbourhood Match Funding’ programme which ran from 2011 – 2014 required applicants to match fund their volunteer hours in order receive financial funding.

They decided that an unskilled volunteer (someone not volunteering in their profession) was ‘worth’ £11.09 per hour – so you could match cash up to same value of the hours your volunteers put in. http://cdf.org.uk/neighbourhoodmatchedfund The CA’s contribution in terms of hours,  amounted  to £103,137 per year if it were worked out this way: – 187 hours per week x 50 weeks per year = 9,350 hours per year; 9,350 hours per year x £11.09 per hour  = £103,137. This is the estimated contribution that the Hub makes in voluntary time it gives Wolverhampton City Council and the community at large. I am proud of the contributions that these band of Volunteers make, which enhances our community massively.

As City Councillors we also work hard to support the Community Association and The Hub the year round to get issues like the  snagging works addressed. Make no mistake the Hub in its very short 1 year life has been central to the lives of a very great deal of people here in Wednesfield North. Here are some of the issues that have taxed our time and energy.

  • July– I joined with others to read story’s to young children in the Library in the Hub, that was the first time that I have undertaken that sort of community activity. I enjoyed it greatly.
  • August– saw the Black Country Fuschia Show exhibiting at the Hub, it was a great show and one that was very worthy of a big attendance. It was good to see the Sports Barn so full of flowers with colour- It was very well attended by the Public. August also saw these following events taking place at the Hub – Car Boot Sale, Teddy Bears Picnic, New Gyms sessions, and other events including Healthy Life Styles an event supported by the NHS.
  • Sept/October – The Hub continues to attract attention with lots of events planned including a very well attended Halloween Disco for under 12s!
  • October- Following complaints I received about the wifi at the Hub, I was able to support the CA and work was undertaken to improve the stability of the public wifi solution in libraries and resolved a number of issues at Ashmore Park.

Its been a good year if you have been associated or have taken advantage of the facilities at the Hub! Hopefully 2016 will be a year when everyone in a leadership role there will be able to take the advantages further. Certainly the three Councillors will continue to be there to assist.

Phil Bateman

Phil Bateman is Married to Mary and lives in Wednesfield North. He was a long serving local politician having served previously on the now defunct West Midlands County Council... read more


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