Li­brary op­tion’s ‘the best of three’

County coun­cil’s char­i­ta­ble trust idea is backed

Buckinghamshire Advertiser - - NEWS -

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.

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