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Agenda Item No

 

The Vale of Glamorgan Council

 

Cabinet Meeting: 12 May, 2014

 

Report of the Leader

 

Museum Archives and Libraries Wales Community Learning Grant 2014/15

 

Purpose of the Report

1.         To seek Cabinet authorisation of the acceptance of the Capital grant to enable the refurbishment of Llantwit Major Library. 

Recommendations

1.         That Cabinet authorises the acceptance of the Capital grant of up to £120,000 from Welsh Government via the Museum Archives and Libraries Wales Community Learning Grant 2014/15 and funding of £130,794 under the Library Reserve Fund and that the Llantwit Major Library Improvement scheme totalling £250,794 is included in the capital programme.     

Reasons for the Recommendations

1.         To enable acceptance of the grant and its inclusion in the Capital programme.    

Background

2.         Corporate Management Team previously agreed new procedures to improve the way in which the Council assess and co-ordinates its bids for external funding.

3.         An 'External Funding Framework' covers the practicalities of maximising external funding opportunities to meet corporate objectives. The framework highlights the criteria that potential applicants must address and those applying for external funding to minimise the risk to the Council.   

Relevant Issues and Options

4.         The library building at Llantwit Major was built in the early 1970s and is drab and unattractive from the outside and not fit for purpose internally. The Council has funded improvement to the exterior of the building in recent years in terms of windows, doors and the roof and the library service has upgraded some of the freestanding shelving, provided self-issue machines and Wi-Fi. However, further investment is needed in order to modernise the interior and make it attractive and easier to use for library customers.

5.         Grant funding was sought to remodel the use of free space by moving services and staff facilities to one end of the building, so freeing up the main public space for a flexible design. Old fixed wooden shelving and wood panelled walls and ceilings will be removed and walls rendered. New lighting will improve illumination and a new heating system will improve energy use in the building. New carpeting, an improved layout, furniture and PC desking will provide for current user expectations for an enhanced and modern service.

6.         A DDA compliant toilet will be provided for staff and customers use. Although the library already has Wi-Fi, the improved and updated layout and furniture will provide for space for customers to use their own devises in more comfort. Grant funding will also enable rendering of the façade of the library in place of the existing UPVC cladding which will create a brighter and more welcoming exterior.

7.         The proposed cost of the work totals £250,794, comprising of a grant of £120,000 and match funding of £130,794. Following the submission of an application, a Museums Archives and Libraries Wales Community Learning Libraries Grant offer of £120,000 was received on 28th March 2014.                  

Resource Implications (Financial and Employment)

8.         The cost of the proposed exterior and interior improvements to Llantwit Major Library total £250,794. This comprises of a grant of £120,000 and match funding of £130,794 (£100,794 from the libraries reserve fund and £30,000 from underspends identified from the libraries revenue budget).    

Sustainability and Climate Change Implications

9.         The materials used to refurbish the library will maximise energy efficiency and the new heating system will improve energy efficiency.   

Legal Implications (to Include Human Rights Implications)

10.      The grant conditions state Welsh Government are entitled to require repayment of all or part of the funding immediately if any of the Notification Events set out in Schedule 2 to the grant offer 28th March 2014 occur including where the grant recipient body plans to change the use of, sell, transfer or otherwise dispose of all or any substantial part of the assets purchased or refurbished within five years from the completion of the project.

11.      The Council to comply with its internal external funding requirements in relation to this proposal including the External Funding Framework. Furthermore the Council to comply in full with the Grant Offer 28th March 2014 including in particular, where relevant, Clause 2 (Statutory Authority and State Aid); Clause 4 (Use), Clause 7 (general obligations), Clause 9 (notification), Clause 10 (monitoring), Clause 11 (audit) and Clause 15 (purchasing). 

Crime and Disorder Implications

12.      There are no crime and disorder implications. 

Equal Opportunities Implications (to include Welsh Language issues)

13.      A new DDA compliant toilet will be installed for use by customers and staff. 

Corporate/Service Objectives

14.      The application will ensure citizens of the Vale of Glamorgan have the skills, knowledge and ability required to maximise their opportunities. 

Policy Framework and Budget

15.      This is a matter for executive decision.

Consultation (including Ward Member Consultation)

16.      The application reflects the views of the Cipfa PLUS survey conducted with adult users in 2012 and the Libraries Review Consultation conducted with the public in December 2012. Due to the tight timescale associated with the funding stream limited consultation has taken place on the specific bid apart from internally and with CyMAL officers. Following approval, before the plans for the library are finalised the public would be consulted on their specific views of the scheme and able to inform decisions including the number of study desks versus the number of workstations, furnishings and fittings, the need for paperback stands etc.     

Relevant Scrutiny Committee

17.      Resources

Background Papers

External Funding Proforma - Llantwit Major Library Refurbishment

Award of Funding letter - CyMAL: Museums Archives and Libraries Wales Community Learning Libraries Grant - 28th March 2014

 

Contact Officer

Mike Jones, Business Manager (Partnerships)

 

Officers Consulted

Christopher Edwards, Chief Librarian

Carolyn Michael, Principal Accountant

Operational Manager - Legal Services 

 

Responsible Officer:

 

Huw Isaac, Head of Performance and Development 

 

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