Agenda Item No. 13(a)
THE VALE OF GLAMORGAN COUNCIL
COUNCIL MEETING: 28 SEPTEMBER 2016
REFERENCE FROM CABINET: 25 JULY 2016
C3268 Library Strategy: Establishing Community Libraries (RE) (SCRUTINY COMMITTEE - Learning and Culture) –
A MATTER WHICH THE CHAIRMAN HAD DECIDED WAS URGENT BY REASON OF THE NEED TO REVISE THE DEADLINE FOR ESTABLISHING COMMUNITY LIBRARIES
Cabinet was updated on the progress made progress to establish community libraries and permission was sought to revise the existing deadline of 31 May, 2016 for establishing legal agreements with community groups to run the libraries at Dinas Powys, Sully, Wenvoe and St Athan.
At the Cabinet meeting held on 8 February, 2016 (Cabinet minute ref C3065 refers), Members resolved to establish community libraries at Dinas Powys, Sully, Wenvoe, St Athan and Rhoose by no later than 31 May, 2016. Significant work had been carried out with community groups to enable the libraries to be transferred to them, although it had not been possible to achieve the transfer by the deadline of 31 May, 2016.
The transfer of the libraries at Wenvoe and Sully had been delayed largely as a result of issues surrounding the transfer of the assets. Although the library building at Sully was owned by the Council, the land was leased from Barry Plastics. It was necessary to enter into an agreement to re-assign the lease to Sully and Lavernock Community Council which involved a third party: the Solicitor acting on behalf of Barry Plastics. The license to assign the lease had now been prepared. Transfer of the library to the Sully group was expected to be implemented the week commencing 25 July, 2016.
The library building at Wenvoe was owned by the Community Council and was subject to the Community Council and the community group agreeing a license. A draft license had recently been prepared by the Community Council and was agreed by their Solicitor. This would now be subject to negotiation and agreement with the community group. It was anticipated that the library would be transferred in late July/ early August although this was subject to agreement of the license referred to above.
Neither St Athan and Dinas Powys Community Groups had yet secured charitable status from the Charities Commission. The St Athan community group had been liaising with the Charities Commission to clarify issues in response to questions raised by the Commission. It was expected that it would be granted charitable status imminently. Once this was received, the necessary agreements to transfer the library could be entered into.
The Dinas Powys Community Group had yet to receive communication from the Charities Commission concerning the position regarding its application for charitable status. As a result, it was not possible to determine a deadline for transferring the library.
In relation to the Rhoose library, it was recommended to wait on the outcome of the present judicial review proceedings before deciding whether or not to enter into arrangements for a community library. The claim was listed for hearing in the High Court on 28 and 29 July, 2016. When the judgement was available, a further report would be brought to Cabinet.
This was a matter for Executive decision
Cabinet, having considered the report and all the issues and implications contained therein
(1) T H A T the deadline of 31 May, 2016 for establishing community libraries be revised and delegated authority be granted to the Director of Learning and Skills, or the Head of Strategy, Community Learning & Resources, in consultation with the Managing Director, the Leader and the Cabinet Member for Regeneration and Education to specify the revised deadline for establishing the community libraries at Dinas Powys, Sully, Wenvoe and St Athan.
(2) T H A T delegated authority be granted to the Head of Legal Services in consultation with the Director of Learning and Skills, or the Head of Strategy, Community Learning & Resources, and the Leader of the Council to (a) enter into legal agreements for the running of each library; (b) to enter into lease agreements and (c) to agree the transfer of assets where applicable.
(3) T H A T the use of article 14.14 of the Council's Constitution (urgent decision procedure) be authorised in respect of resolutions one and two above.
Reasons for decisions
(1) To enable legal agreements to be entered into after the previously agreed deadline of 31 May, 2016 and within a timescale to be set under delegated authority.
(2) To enable service standards expected from each community group, the conditions in relation to the use of funding and the support to be provided by the Council, to be clearly set out and formally agreed by all concerned; and to enable the transfer of library buildings to the community groups.
(3) To enable the necessary legal agreements to be entered into with immediate effect if necessary.