Library option’s ‘the best of three’
County council’s charitable trust idea is backed
Tony Hoare, of Chalfont St Giles Community Library, has also welcomed Bucks County Council’s (BCC) ‘desire’ to maintain the ‘successful’ and ‘fully integrated’ library service network already in place.
Mr Hoare said: “We are supportive of the county library service’s proposal, given the difficult budget position that the Service is facing.
It is probably the best of the three options that have been put forward.
“The proposal doesn’t directly affect the operation of Chalfont St Giles Community Library as we are already an independent charity.”
A recent announcement made by BCC declared the council was looking at the possibility of turning libraries into charities as part of massive cost cutting measures.
The library service has to save at least £1m over the next three years, which led to BCC having to consider three options for how best to proceed.
The council’s transport, environment and communities select committee was presented with these options for the future of the service on Tuesday March 1.
The options are to leave the service as it is – with council management funded by the taxpayer through the county’s budget; to outsource the service to a competitive tender and have an external organisation run it on a council contract; or to set up and run libraries as a new not-forprofit organisation through a commissioning contract with the county council.
Library service manager David Jones said the notfor-profit route would be more risky than continuing to run libraries as they are, but it would attract tax advantages that would significantly reduce costs and open up new channels of funding.
Mr Hoare added: “We welcome the cabinet member’s desire to at least maintain the current library service and network. Our partnership with the county library service enables us to offer our residents a good library service that is fully integrated with that of the county.” Please post me free & without obligation full details of the SoundLens hearing aid. Tick if pensioner.