5. The council’s library review has been in process since July 2010. This report brings itto a conclusion, with confirmation that direct council funding will cease for five publiclibraries. Previous cabinet member decisions (1 March 2011, 30 June 2011, 22 July2011) document the background to why these sites have been identified.6. In four of the five areas where direct council funding will cease, there has been avolunteer co-ordinator in post already, and their presence has been crucial to thedevelopment of volunteer groups to run the community libraries. These sites areBembridge, Brighstone, East Cowes and Niton. In Niton, the community group formedto take on the library has formed a company, The Edward Edwards Library Limited, inhonour of the pioneer of public libraries in England, who is buried in Niton.7. In two areas, it has not been feasible to establish an incorporated body.. These areasare Bembridge and Brighstone. There was considerable community activity andvolunteering in both areas, and, to ensure that this could result in community libraries,the Isle of Wight Rural Community Council (RCC) has offered to accept the leaseholdliability for both sites. This is in line with the RCC’s policy of enabling local communityenterprises and has meant both libraries can open without a break in service.8. In Shanklin, it has taken a slightly longer time to co-ordinate the recruitment of avolunteer co-ordinator for a number of the town’s ongoing projects. The Town Councilhas indicated that it is likely to offer to pay for a member of Isle of Wight Council librarystaff to be seconded to the Shanklin library site, for a short period of up to two months,so that volunteers may be recruited and trained on site, as has been the case in allother sites to date. This matter is due to be decided formally at their Town Councilmeeting on 22 September 2011.9. In areas where there is a community library, the council will continue to provide mobilelibrary stops in the vicinity, in co-operation with the community library’s management.10. The council is not able to sustain its expenditure on the five sites in question anylonger. Sufficient time has been allowed to permit legal and property disposalnegotiations to near conclusion, and for the training for staff and security checks forvolunteers. The training and checks have been offered to community groups, toensure their volunteers offer the highest standards of customer care and confidencethat customers can continue to enjoy their local library as a safe and welcoming spacein their community.STRATEGIC CONTEXT11. This decision supports the Eco Island Sustainable Community Strategy themes of a
(because it sees local communities establishing enterprises to operatethe community libraries), and a
healthy and supportive Island
(because the opening ofcommunity libraries is offering volunteering opportunities which will lead to morepeople playing an active role in their locality).12. The recommendations in the report also support the Vision as set out in the CorporatePlan 2011-13 to challenge statutory duties and deliver services in more cost effectiveways by engaging with local communities and partners.