Cornwall Council To Consider Options For Mobile Library Services

mobileLibrarymobileLibraryRoseland Online has learned that Cornwall Council Partnerships Portfolio Advisory Committee (PAC) will be meeting on 16 June 2014 to consider the results of a 12 week consultation and options regarding the mobile library and mobile one stop services as a result of a 50% budget cut.

Proposals on how to replace the Council’s existing mobile library and mobile one stop services with a range of community based initiatives went out for a 12 week public consultation from Monday 03 February 2014.

The consultation was made available online and a hard copy was available to all current users of the service in the mobile library and mobile one stop vans as well as static libraries and one stop shops. Officers from the service attended Community Network meetings across Cornwall as well as other external partner meetings. The Council also issued press releases and communications to Town and Parish Councils highlighting the consultation was happening during the 12 week period.

It asked participants if they currently used the mobile services; what they thought of the services and their opinion on how the services could be delivered in a different way with a 50% reduced budget. 

Cornwall Council cabinet member for partnerships Adam Paynter said: “We had a really good response rate with over 2,500 taking part in the consultation. 97% of responses were from existing library users. It was clear from the responses received that the mobile library service is valued by those who use it.

The responses also showed us that a number of existing service users would instead benefit from the home library service delivered by the Royal Voluntary Service and we had a number of expressions of interest from communities and organisations in forming a community ‘micro’ library as an alternative to the mobile.”

Based on these results and the savings that the service needs to make three options will be considered at the PAC:

  1. Retain two out of the five mobile vans and expand the Home Library Service
  2. Cease all mobile vans and replace with targeted service provision in areas affected including creation of community/micro libraries and expansion of the Home Library Service
  3. Retain one mobile library van serving a reduced number of stops, set up and support community/micro libraries in areas showing interest and expansion of the Home Library Service

The third option is a new option which has been developed following consideration of the results of the consultation. The Partnerships PAC will decide whether or not they support any of these options for further development and subsequent recommendation to the Cabinet. The Cabinet will then make the final decision.

The full report going to the Partnerships PAC is available on the Cornwall Council website. 

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