25.1 The Cabinet considered a report by the Director of Communities, Economy and Environment together with the comments of the Libraries Strategic Commissioning Strategy Review Board.
25.2 It was RESOLVED – to agree the draft Libraries Strategic Commissioning Strategy is publicly consulted on for a 12 week period from September to December 2017
25.3 The report presents proposals for the implementation of the draft Libraries Strategic Commissioning Strategy (LSCS) that could achieve £653k of savings and create a modern, sustainable library service for East Sussex, which prioritises the needs of the county and is able to adapt to future needs. This would deliver total savings for the Libraries Transformation Programme of £1.903m against a target of £2m and is considered to be the most appropriate strategy to prioritise resources in order to meet the needs which have been identified at the current time.
25.4 In addition to providing a core library offer that would retain a very high level of accessibility to all those who live, work and study in East Sussex, by re-prioritising and developing new, more targeted services the draft LSCS presents a key opportunity for us to support and empower those with the greatest needs to make potentially transformational changes to their life chances. If the proposed needs- based library service were to be implemented following the consultation, resources would be targeted to communities where we have identified these highest needs and, in partnership with others, we would develop and expand our services, including an enhanced eLibrary and Home Library Service, a new Children’s and Young People’s Offer to support literacy, and increased outreach work in our most disadvantaged communities.There would be a smaller network of library buildings, with 17 libraries in appropriate locations across the county according to need, and 92% of members of the current 24 libraries would be unaffected. Over 86% of East Sussex residents would be within a 20 minute journey time to a library by public transport and over 99% within a 20 minute journey by car.
25.5 The draft LSCS will undergo a public consultation during September to December 2017. The findings of the public consultation will be analysed and the draft LSCS and the supporting appendices, which form the statutory assessment of needs, including the full EqIA, will be reviewed. The outcome of the consultation and a draft LSCS will be presented to Cabinet in March 2018, with a view, should it be agreed, to implementation from April 2018.