Update on the library and one stop shop service review: 9 July 2015

As part of the Council’s Business Plan and Budget setting for 2015-2019 Members agreed the following aim:

‘Ensure access to Library and advice services across Cornwall through new community led models of service provision whilst delivering £1.8m savings (44%) over 2015/16 and 2016/17’

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The report on the alternative delivery of the Library and One Stop Shop service is now complete and will be discussed at the following meetings:

Following analysis of the consultation results, four main options are presented in the report to consider along with key considerations and risks, the options are presented as follows:

  • 1 – (Model A); to progress the devolution of the local Library and/or One Stop Shop, to those organisations who have expressed an interest.
  • 2 – (Model B); to formally tender for provision of the whole service under a separate organisation.
  • 3 – (Model A + Hybrid), to augment the devolved provision with self-serve technology to further reduce costs.
  • 4 - To define the Council’s ‘statutory offer’ criteria and deliver the service to meet the budget targets, keeping only the core service.

Considering the four options presented in the report and the associated considerations/risks, it is clear that none of them present a straightforward way of preserving the service - whilst delivering it within the reduced budget envelope; however Option 2 is considered to be the most likely to achieve this and on this basis the recommendation in the report for PAC and Cabinet to consider is as follows:

  1. That Option 2 / Model B – formally procure a service provider for the whole Face to Face (Library/One Stop Shop) service be approved in principle.
  2. That authority be delegated to the Director of Communities and Organisational Development, in consultation with the Portfolio Holder for Communities, to carry out further market engagement to establish whether there is a reasonable prospect that Option 2 could deliver the service within the available budget envelope, and that a further report be presented to Cabinet for approval prior to commencing a procurement process.

Many people who took part in the consultation told us they value and wish to protect the local face to face services. They would also like to introduce some improvements to the service delivery such as extend opening hours to allow other community groups to visit, better stock, better facilities and more events and activities.

Geoff Brown, Cabinet Member for Communities, has made it clear that in the face of significant cuts, he remains committed to delivering an effective, efficient and consistent service countywide.

"After careful consideration, Option 2 is the most likely option to ensure delivery of a preserved and consistent service across Cornwall within budget and in line with the business plan requirement to ‘ensure access to library and advice services across Cornwall.  This option also provides opportunities for the new organisation to work with community groups and organisations who wish to shape services in their area, alongside the potential for delivery of a modern service through, for example, exploring technology options. 

It is important to note that at this moment these are only proposed options/recommendation and no final decision has been made on the future delivery of this service. I will be in touch with you as soon as this important decision has been made, however this will not be until after the Cabinet meeting on 23 July".

Please use the links below to more information: