Doncaster Council Cabinet decision record 040211


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Approval of library cuts by Cabinet

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Doncaster Council Cabinet decision record 040211

  1. 1. EXECUTIVE FUNCTIONS DECISION RECORDThe following decisions were taken on 4th February, 2011 by the Cabinet:Date notified to all Members: 7th February, 2011The end of the Call-In period for this decision is 5pm on Wednesday, 16th February,2011 and the decision can be implemented from Thursday 17th February, 2011.Present: Chairman – Peter Davies, Mayor of Doncaster Vice-Chairman – Councillor Patricia Schofield Cabinet Member for:Councillor Andrea Milner Children and Young People’s Service, Equalities and CohesionCouncillor Cynthia Ransome Neighbourhoods, Regulatory/ Customer ServicesCouncillor Mark Thompson Corporate Services; Environment and Sustainability, Waste Disposal and RecyclingCouncillor Patrick Wilson HousingCouncillor Jonathan Wood Business, Development, Planning, Regeneration, New Enterprise PUBLIC MEETING – SCHEDULE OF DECISIONS DECISION 11. AGENDA ITEM NUMBER AND TITLE 3. Library Service Review.2. DECISION REFERENCE NO. K09393. DECISION TAKEN Cabinet:- (1) Approved the implementation of the proposed Libraries and Information Strategy for 2011-2015, as outlined in Appendix 1 to the report, and the future service delivery model as outlined in Appendix 2 to the report, with 12 core libraries remaining at Armthorpe, Askern, Tickhill, Bentley, Doncaster Town Centre, Edlington, Hatfield, Mexborough, Thorne, Woodlands, Cantley and Conisbrough with an alternative service delivery model for Stainforth, Sprotbrough, Scawthorpe, Wheatley, Denaby, Rossington, Edenthorpe, Carcroft, Moorends, Warmsworth, Bawtry, Bessacarr, Balby and Intake; and (2) Noted the proposed staffing structure as outlined in Appendix 3 of the report./home/pptfactory/temp/20110217113623/reports4appendix3cabinetdecisionrecord040211-110217053621-phpapp01.doc
  2. 2. 4. REASONS FOR DECISIONThe Public Libraries and Museums Act 1964 made it the duty of local authorities to provide a comprehensive and efficient library service. The quality of that service was not defined until Public Library Standards were introduced in 2001, revised in 2004 and 2006, discontinued in 2008 and replaced by NI9 – the percentage of local residents who have used a public library service. NI9 was measured by Sport England’s Active People Survey so was a sample rather than a measurement of actual usage and the scores so far for Doncaster have been 43% in 2008, dropping to 36.6% in 2009. Although there has recently been encouraging news of a statistical increase, it is still well below what it should be and whilst there is a national decline in the use of libraries, Doncaster’s usage figures seem to have dropped more than others (in particular this is thought to relate to less footfall in Waterdale impacting on the Doncaster town centre library). In September 2009, the results of a national inquiry into the governance and leadership of public libraries set out the following recommendations based on responses from a wide variety of stakeholders:-  Government funding and functional responsibility for public libraries should be brought together within a single government department;  Local authorities should continue to be responsible and carry accountability for the provision of public library services in their area;  The application of the Public Libraries Act 1964 should be clarified by a clear definition of the minimum level of service to be expected by customers; and  A Library Development Agency for England should be established. The Library services in Doncaster have already been subject to interest from government bodies due to low performance including the Chartered Institute of Library and Information Professionals and the Museums, Libraries and Archives Council and there is pressure to demonstrate significant improvement. The residents of Doncaster have also told us that they want later evening and Saturday openings; more activities aimed at young people, families and the disadvantaged; less but higher quality libraries in better locations; kept in better condition and with improved parking. Doncaster libraries cannot afford to deliver these aspirations whilst running the present out-dated service and whilst contributing to council savings necessitated by Government spending cuts (£73m over the next 4 years). The key implications are that the current 26 libraries will reduce to 12 core libraries provided by the Council. The 12 core libraries that are proposed to remain have been identified based on usage, condition of the building, a fair geographical spread across the borough and the funds available. These are Armthorpe, Askern, Tickhill, Bentley, Doncaster Town Centre, Edlington, Hatfield, Mexborough, Thorne, Woodlands, Cantley and Conisbrough./home/pptfactory/temp/20110217113623/reports4appendix3cabinetdecisionrecord040211-110217053621-phpapp01.doc
  3. 3. To ensure the needs of all current users and communities are met, a further consultation exercise will be undertaken to gauge the view of what alternatives the relevant communities, where it is proposed that a core library will no longer exist, would wish to have in their community. These are Carcroft, Stainforth, Edenthorpe, Moorends, Scawthorpe, Wheatley, Warmsworth, Sprotbrough, Bessacarr, Denaby, Rossington, Bawtry, Balby and Intake. The alternatives that will be considered and pursued are as follows:-  Community-run libraries where volunteers from the community staff the service with professional guidance and stock provided by the Council;  Community-supported libraries run by the Council but financially supported by the community;  Self-service un-staffed facilities in other Council, wider public sector or private buildings for the issue and deposit of books etc;  Increased mobile and home delivery provision in key areas ensuring vulnerable people still have access;  Postal service via the new library virtual service being introduced later this month accessible from anywhere with internet facilities; or Any other solution identified by communities. Further details with regard to consultation, were identified within paragraph 9 of the report. The Mayor made reference to the receipt of a petition which opposed the proposed closure of branch libraries.5. ALTERNATIVES CONSIDERED AND REJECTED Option 1 – Do nothing and stay as we are. This is not the recommended option. Despite recent improvements, the service must modernise further if it is not to fall into further decline. The Council also cannot afford to run the service in its present form.6. DECLARATIONS OF INTEREST AND DISPENSATIONS None7. IF EXEMPT, REASON FOR EXEMPTION None8. RESPECTIVE DIRECTOR RESPONSIBLE FOR IMPLEMENTATION Peter Dale, Director of Regeneration and Environment SIGNED…………………………………… DATE………………………………………/home/pptfactory/temp/20110217113623/reports4appendix3cabinetdecisionrecord040211-110217053621-phpapp01.doc