Agenda item

Review of Decision to Relocate the Central Library Service


The Cabinet Member with the Leisure and Local Environment Portfolio introduced the report of theManaging Director and the Director of Economic Growth and Neighbourhood Services (previously circulated) requesting that consideration be given to the implications of not implementing the agreed decision to relocate the central library from Crown Street to the Dolphin Centre, in the context of the rapidly changing Town Centre environment and the better financial position of the Council in comparison to when the original decision was taken.


The submitted report provided an update on the relocation of the central library; stated that Cabinet had requested officers to look at options to the original decision to relocate the central library to the Dolphin Centre and develop, in outline, an alternative to the relocation; outlined the implications of not implementing the original decision; alternative uses for the space allocated for the library in the Dolphin Centre; financial and HR implications; risks; and outlined the outcome of the consultation undertaken.


In presenting the report the Cabinet Member with the Leisure and Local Environment Portfolio outlined the reasons for no longer relocating the central library and made particular reference to the changing Town Centre environment since the original decision was made.


Members of the public in attendance at the meeting welcomed the decision to no longer relocate the central library from Crown Street to the Dolphin Centre and requested to be involved in any future proposals for the library.


Discussion ensued on Cockerton Library; the need to improve facilities at the Dolphin Centre for relocated services; the Town Centre in general; the heritage of the Crown Street Library building; and the impact on Young People of the move not taking place.


RESOLVED It was agreed that :-


(a)    the central library be retained at the Crown Street Building, and:-

                     (i)          the development of plans for the refurbishment of the Crown Street building and to refresh the internal design and service standards, be approved;

                    (ii)          a consultation on the internal redesign and service standards for the Crown Street Library (to run in October/November 2018), be approved;

                   (iii)          the space earmarked for a relocated central library service at the Dolphin Centre and Bennet House, be released, for other uses;

                   (iv)          the development of a quick picks library service point at the Dolphin Centre, be approved; and

                    (v)          it be noted that the Library Service Plan would need to be amended and updated to take account of the above proposals and that it was planned to bring a revised Library Service Plan to Cabinet in January 2019 and thereafter to take this to Council for approval; and


(b)    further reports be received about the library service as may be necessary.


REASONS – (a)  ?????To allow Cabinet to consider options relating to the library service.


(b)  To meet the statutory obligation to provide a comprehensive and efficient library service.


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