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Agenda item

LIBRARY LOCAL DEVELOPMENT PLAN

Minutes:

The Cabinet heard representations from the public on the proposals for Hale End Library.  Oliver Shykles referred to a petition with four thousand signatures, and questioned a number of statements in the report, in particular regarding the accessibility of the existing library, and the suitability of the proposed re-siting.  Hanna Chalmers said the library was part of an active and engaged community, and a viable public building of aesthetic value and greater potential.

 

Consideration was given to a report of the Strategic Director of Neighbourhood and Commercial Services.  A paper setting out data corrections and clarifications to the report was laid round the Chamber and published on the Council's website.

 

Councillor Sharon Waldron introduced the report and thanked Councillor Asghar, Michel Moloney and her team for their work.  She would be happy to consult with the community over the summer on the future of hale End Library, and Michele Moloney outlined how this could be achieved.

 

The Leader of the Council supported this approach, and emphasised that the Council had striven to keep libraries and leisure centres open whereas many others around the country had closed.  It would be for the consultation to show that alternatives to the proposals would increase usage to viable levels.

 

Cabinet supported consultation on the proposals over the summer, and while the delegation agreed below stood, reserved the option to make subsequent decisions collectively.

 

Cabinet

 

(a)  agreed to receive the report and agreed in principle to:

 

(i)   The Vision for Library Locals (Appendix 1) proposing the relocation of three of the four Library Locals and refurbishment of the fourth: this is evidenced by the four Business Cases (Appendix 2) and maps of current and future catchment areas (Appendix 6);

 

(ii)  All costs to refurbish, relocate and any acquisition / lease costs for the four Library Locals to be funded from the disposal receipts from the sale of three of the current buildings;

 

(iii)   The agreement in principle may be subject to delegation to the Director of Neighbourhoods and Commercial Services in consultation with the Portfolio Lead Member and the Junior Cabinet Member of the following:

 

a)   undertaking  a public consultation that  builds  on the extensive consultation exercise undertaken in 2011 that led to the decisions taken at Cabinet on 11th October 2011 (Appendix 4);

 

b)   authority having regard to the outcome of the consultation exercise to make minor amendments to the Library Local Vision in Appendix 1;

 

c)    authority to, having  conscientiously taken into account the responses from the consultation exercise, take the decision to proceed with the implementation of the new Vision;

 

(iv)             that in the event that the outcome and responses of the public consultation result in the recommendation of significant changes to the new Vision for Library Locals, officers are to report back to Cabinet before the taking of a decision to move the location of Library Locals; and

 

(b)  agreed that, to ensure the Library Local Programme as set out in the new Vision is progressed rapidly, that design development work, surveys and detailed costings will be carried out on the basis that such expenditure is “at risk” and that no decisions will be taken to implement until the completion of the Vision as set out in paragraph 2.1.3 above.

 

Supporting documents: