Open Access to put public services in the spotlight

Published Tuesday, 10th November 2015

image for communities, neighbourhoods and the environment

A high-profile public event showcasing the vast array of services and benefits available to local residents and businesses is to take place at the Victoria Shopping Centre later this month.

Open Access Southend – a joint initiative between Southend-on-Sea Borough Council and the Department for Work & Pensions - is a one-day, family-friendly marketplace event on the first floor of Southend’s Victoria Shopping Centre from 10am – 4pm on 18 November supported by a week of social media activity.

There will be around 15 manned stalls for residents and business to peruse promoting services including:

  • Business Advice
  • Children and family support
  • Leisure and culture
  • Universal Credit
  • Housing and planning
  • New energy supply partnership, Southend Energy
  • Passenger transport
  • Managing Council Tax and Business Rates on line
  • Fostering
  • Cycling

To keep the children entertained, Active Southend will be providing free minigolf and there will also be a treasure trail for youngsters to complete, with prizes on offer.

From 12 November, services taking part in the event will be tweeting interesting facts, graphics and videos about the services they provide using the hashtags #OpenAccess and #Southend

Cllr Ian Gilbert, Deputy Executive Councillor for Enterprise, Tourism and Economic Development at Southend-on-Sea Borough Council, said: “One of the questions the Council is often asked is “What do you do?” Most residents will be aware that we collect waste, repair roads and provide social services, but this is just the tip of the iceberg.

“But many will not be aware, for example, that we advise people how they can extend their properties, we provide tailored support services to local businesses to help them grow or that we help people reduce their energy consumption and reduce their bills.

“It’s exactly these sorts of services that we’ll be promoting at this event alongside benefits advice from colleagues at Job Centre Plus and the DWP. We look forward to seeing you at this family-friendly event.”