The first stage of public consultation on the future of the Library Service in the Borough has now come to an end. This took place between 13 June and 5 September 2016. Bury Council received 3,536 responses which they are in the process of analysing.
However, in our opinion, this has been a pointless consultation and a complete waste of money. Residents were asked if they agree with six principles on which to base the future of the library service.
Those six principles are listed below…but they don’t really mean anything to anyone. They are all ambiguous/obvious statements.
We fail to see how this Labour-run Council have spent £13,000 of council tax payers money on someone to lead a consultation which doesn’t tell us anything.
Principle 1 – To provide a Library Service across the borough which provide all residents with access to libraries and electronic services sufficient in number, range and quality to support reading for pleasure, lifelong learning, the development of new skills and the effective use of information.
Principle 2 – To ensure that the needs of more vulnerable residents and groups protected by Equalities legislation are taken fully into account in the provision of these services.
Principle 3 – To ensure that the resources committed to the library service are used as efficiently as possible by exploring options to reduce running and maintenance costs and to share premises with Council and other services.
Principle 4 – To explore options for investing in technology to improve access to the library service for example by extending opening hours, increasing our digital services and enhancing provision for those with sensory impairments.
Principle 5 – To welcome the contribution that members of the community can make to the Library Service as volunteers, supporting both traditional and digital services.
Principle 6 – To meet local aspirations for a network of community spaces across the borough in which the council and local communities can work together as partners in meeting local needs.
We will let you know the outcome shortly.
The second stage of the public consultation will be on the actual detail of any planned closures or changes to the library service. This will take place between November 2016 and February 2017.
A final decision will be taken in March 2017 by Bury Council’s Cabinet.