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Agenda Item No

 

The Vale of Glamorgan Council

 

Community Liaison Committee : 20th March 2013

 

Report of the Chief Learning and Skills Officer

 

Consultation on Reinstatement of Mobile Library Service

 

Purpose of the Report

1.            To report on feedback to date from consultation with Town and Community Councils over the reinstatement of mobile library service.

Recommendations

1.             That the Committee note the contents of the report.

2.             That any suggestions the Committee wishes to make be incorporated in a report to Cabinet following the outcome of the consultation.

Reasons for the Recommendations

1.             To feed back to this Committee on the outcome of the consultation.

2.             In order that the views of the Committee can be reported to Cabinet following the outcome of the consultation.

Background

2.            The mobile library service was withdrawn in 2011-12 as one of the measures implemented by the Vale of Glamorgan Council in order to achieve the required budgetary savings.  The Council's Corporate Plan (2013-17) includes a commitment to 'reintroduce a mobile library service in partnership to improve access to library services following consultation about how the service will be delivered'.

Relevant Issues and Options

3.            Interest has been expressed by Barry Town Council in reinstating the mobile library service and a consultation exercise has been conducted with Town and Community Councils and with Primary Schools across the Vale of Glamorgan to assess the level of interest in reinstating and funding the service.

4.            A letter was sent out in January 2013 and a copy is attached at Appendix 1. Responses have been received to date from eleven Town and Community Councils and from eleven schools. 

5.            One Council (Barry Town Council) is committed to funding a mobile library service although details of the extent of provision have not yet been provided.  Penarth Town Council have not committed to funding mobile library provision within their area but requested that the matter be referred to this Committee for further discussion.  The other Councils who responded have not committed funding to the scheme although a number of them expressed interest in the idea should funding be forthcoming from elsewhere. Others were satisfied with the library provision already in place.

6.            Responses from Primary schools also indicated that funding was not available to support the service.  A number of schools are satisfied with their current access to library services both through visits to the library and use of online resources. Some schools have identified the possibility of bringing children to the library by minibus, which would be more cost effective and provide the children with a more rounded experience of using a library. There is further scope to develop closer links with schools.

Resource Implications (Financial and Employment)

7.            Funding to deliver the mobile library service was withdrawn as part of the Council's savings in 2011/12 and 2012/13.   

Sustainability and Climate Change Implications

8.            There are no sustainability and climate change implications arising from this report.

Legal Implications (to Include Human Rights Implications)

9.            There are no legal implications arising from this report.

Crime and Disorder Implications

10.       There are no crime and disorder implications arising from this report.

Equal Opportunities Implications (to include Welsh Language issues)

11.       An Equality Impact Assessment was carried out as part of the process of withdrawing the mobile library service.  The Home Borrower Service was introduced to mitigate the impact on those who have significant mobility issues, and this service is now also available to those who were not users of the mobile library service.

Corporate/Service Objectives

12.       Learning and Skills as contained in the Corporate Plan that citizens of the Vale of Glamorgan have the skills, knowledge and abilities required to maximise their opportunities.

Policy Framework and Budget

13.       This is a matter for Executive decision.

Consultation (including Ward Member Consultation)

14.       Consultation has been carried out with Town and Community Councils and with Primary Schools.

Relevant Scrutiny Committee

15.       Lifelong Learning.

Background Papers

None

 

Contact Officer

Sian Jones, Chief Librarian

 

Officers Consulted

Paula Ham, Head of Strategic Planning and Performance

 

Responsible Officer:

Jennifer Hill, Chief Learning and Skills Officer