Lincs: County council are pushing forward with its proposal for a new look library service

Gainsborough Library G120327-4
Gainsborough Library G120327-4
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Lincs County Council are pushing forward with its original proposals for a new look library service.

Under the proposals, the council would continue to provide 15 major libraries, along with online services, mobile libraries and specialist support for those unable to reach their nearest library because of, for instance, disability, age or ill health.

These would be complemented by up to 40 community hubs, including library services, developed in partnership with local community groups.

Not only will these groups receive ongoing professional support, they will also be given over £5,000 per year towards their running costs and access to a one-off grant of up to £15,000 for changes to buildings or equipment.

The proposal also includes plans to reduce opening hours of libraries in the county, including Gainsborough.

Gainsborough library will be 1 of 10 which will be open for at least 45 hours per week, over six days, closing at 6pm on at least one day.

All these libraries will offer free access to computers and the internet, along with other services like printing.

In addition, officers are now recommending the council undertakes a competitive procurement to seek an external organisation to potentially deliver these services on its behalf, including the support for the community hubs.

Coun Nick Worth, Executive Member for Libraries, said: “Officers have put in a lot of work to address the issues raised during the court case.”

“Having done so, they still believe the model previously agreed by the executive is the right way forward.”

“Volunteers would be at the heart of that new-look service, and we have been keeping in close contact with those that have come forward as things developed.”

“Because of the challenge from GLL, the executive will also be asked to look at potentially outsourcing our side of things.”

“In light of the work that involves, it’s likely to take until the end of 2015 before a final decision is reached on who will run the service.”

“I look forward to the views of the scrutiny committee and the debate at the executive meeting.”

“However, I’m confident that the ultimate outcome will be a comprehensive and efficient service that meets the needs of residents.”

The recommendation will be discussed at a meeting of the Community and Public Safety Committee on 27th January.

A final decision will then be taken at a meeting of the council’s executive on 3rd February.