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Published by: ventnorblog on Sep 22, 2011
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 Report of
EXECUTIVE SUMMARY1. This report puts in place the measures to end the library review, with the establishmentof five community libraries, which are supported by the council but at no direct cost.2. The recommendation is that the council will cease to fund the public libraries atBembridge, Brighstone, East Cowes, Niton and Shanklin on 30 September 2011, andthat it will lease those sites at preferential rents and with the free loan of council librarystock to community-led organisations. This will result in community libraries, theproduct of a partnership between the council and local residents where no locality willhave lost its static provision.BACKGROUND3. It is Cabinet policy to increase community-led engagement in libraries, whilecontinuing to provide a comprehensive and efficient library service on the Island. Thisis defined as:-
Providing a good range of books free of charge to the library user and associatedservices in venues accessible to the majority and with opening hours arranged asnearly as possible to meet community requirements;
In so doing, statutory requirements continue to be met in full.4. This paper brings to a conclusion the implementation of this Cabinet policy, to ensurethat Isle of Wight Council library service continues to meet its statutory requirements,and that communities wishing to establish their own local library are supported to doso.
 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
thriving Island 
(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.
CONSULTATION13. The Library Review invited consultation and over 1500 people responded to theconsultation, plus five petitions were submitted. This consultation was used to informthe initial Cabinet decision of 1 March and this decision uses the same publicconsultation as its basis.14. To ensure that the community libraries are all equipped to open by or near to the endof September 2011, all five community groups involved have been consulted regularlyon progress. In addition, the RCC, which is taking on two property leases to permitthe opening of community libraries in Bembridge and Brighstone, has been aconsultee throughout.15. The Equality Impact Assessments (EIAs) which are attached at Appendix A anddiscussed below, reflect a period of additional public consultation which was carriedout during July 2011 in all eleven sites.FINANCIAL / BUDGET IMPLICATIONS16. The recommendation would result in the Library Service reducing its running costs by£31,000 on these sites, because this is how much it had cost the council to extend theopening to the end of September, in terms of additional staffing and utilities. This is inaddition to the significant savings made by the staffing restructure earlier in the year.The removal of the secure data lines has reduced the council’s outgoings byapproximately £6,800 a month; the remainder of the £31,000 was made up of utilitiesand single staffing costs.CARBON EMISSIONS17. Based on 2010/11 energy consumption, the proposals will have the effect ofreducing the Council’s carbon footprint by 41 tonnes of carbon dioxide (tCO2) duringthe remainder of 2011/12 and by 57tCO2 for subsequent years.18. Assuming a fixed price for carbon allowances under the CRC Energy EfficiencyScheme of £12/tonne, the proposals will reduce the cost to the council of CRCallowances by £492 during the remainder of 2011/12 and by £684 for subsequentyears.LEGAL IMPLICATIONS19. Under the Public Libraries and Museums Act 1964 the library authority (which theCouncil is in accordance with s. 206 Local Government Act 1972) has
a duty to“provide a comprehensive and efficient library service for all persons desiring tomake use thereof”.20. In fulfilling its duty, a library authority shall in particular have regard to thedesirability—(a) of securing, by the keeping of adequate stocks, by arrangements with otherlibrary authorities, and by any other appropriate means, that facilities areavailable for the borrowing of, or reference to, books and other printed matter,and pictures, gramophone records, films and other materials, sufficient in

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