Report by the Director of Communities, Economy and Transport
15.1 The Cabinet considered a report by the Director of Communities, Economy and Transport.
15.2 It was RESOLVED to (1) approve the proposed changes to library opening hours in Appendix 3; and
(2) note the progress on the other aspects of the Libraries’ Transformation Programme.
15.3 Based on the results of the libraries Opening Hours Consultation and the final Rationale and Impact Assessment, the proposals for library opening hours have been revised. However, if implemented they would still deliver the full year savings of £500k originally identified and contribute to the overall Library Transformation Programme savings target of £2m. The consultation has enabled the County Council to ensure the impacts of the proposals are fully understood and they have been revised to have the minimum impact on current service users.
Report by the Director of Communities, Economy and Transport.
Appendix 1, the report to Cabinet, will follow on publication of the Cabinet agenda on Monday 11 July 2016.
14.1 The Committee considered a report by the Director of Communities, Economy and Transport which presented the report to Cabinet and invited the Committee to provide comments to assist the Cabinet.
14.2 The Assistant Director Communities set out the changes to the proposed opening hours, made as a result of the public consultation. The Committee noted that the proposals were based on the evidence, and welcomed the scope of the consultation. It was confirmed that District, Borough and Town Councils would be consulted as part of the next stages of the Libraries Transformation Programme.
14.3 The Committee discussed Seaford Library and the continued provision of the café outlet. The Head of Customer and Library Services confirmed that the loss of the café was temporary, and that the reduced opening hours would not act as a deterrent to any new operators.
14.4 The Committee discussed the re-establishment of the Reference Group, to work alongside officers during the development of the Transformation Programme. The Committee expressed interest in income generation, and ways of developing or replacing the mobile library offer, with particular reference to the pilots undertaken at Old People’s Homes. The development of electronic access to the Service, and of the input of volunteers, was promoted by the Chair, in particular in the rural parts of the County.
14.5 The Lead Member for Community Services praised the work of the officers involved in the Programme, the thorough consideration of the consultation responses and the resultant amendments to the proposals. He noted that where opening hours had been changed it was during the quietest parts of the day, so minimising the impact on the public. The Lead Member welcomed the support of the Scrutiny Committee.
14.6 RESOLVED to (1) endorse the report to Cabinet; and
(2) re-establish the Committee’s Libraries Transformation Programme Reference Group and hold a meeting in September.