- Meeting of Transport, Environment and Communities Select Committee, Tuesday 23rd January 2018 10.00 am (Item 8.)
PRE DECISION SCRUTINY: Members will review the options for the future delivery arrangements of mobile library services, which will be considered by the Cabinet Member, following public consultation. This is an opportunity for the Committee to examine and inform the plans ahead of a key decision being taken.
Mr N. Brown, Cabinet Member for Community Engagement.
Mr D. Jones, Head of Community Focus.
The Chairman welcomed the Cabinet Member for Community Engagement and the Director of Culture and Learning who provided the Committee with an overview of their paper.
Key points highlighted included:
· The rationale for considering alternative delivery options, including to make savings, and explore better more sustainable delivery arrangements.
· That a consultation had been carried out on the discontinuance of the mobile library service and alternative delivery arrangements. This was now closed and results were being analysed.
· A key decision was due in March 2018.
· Research had been carried out (included in the report) which identified all individuals who used mobile services only. These people had bene written to directly to seek their views on alternative delivery options.
· The alternative delivery options were discussed, including Home Library Lending Service and Click and Collect options.
Members considered the following through their questions:
· The impact of changes on vulnerable and isolated residents who would be affected by the discontinuance mobile library services.
· How the Home Library Service would work, the risks and benefits of this arrangement. It was reported that it would be easy to extend this service to the 500 people who would be affected.
· Members heard that this approach would enable important social interaction to be maintained. Some Members felt that if it worked well, it could offer a better service, but that it was important that the life line of the library service was not lost for isolated communities.
· A member raised concern over the data looking at just those who use only mobile services vs the number of visits to mobile libraries to assess the real impact.
· Members raised concern about the click and collect option and the issue of lack of access to the internet of some vulnerable residents. Members heard that the survey covered this issue specifically. Members were advised that the 500 mobile only users were also sent letters and free post envelopes to complete the survey.
· Members raised the need for a full Equalities Impact Assessment to be carried out and for this to inform the Cabinet Member Decision.
· Members discussed in detail the risk of isolation for vulnerable residents and wanted to be reassured that the alternative options would meet the needs of these residents.
· Members felt that they could not give informed views to the Cabinet Member ahead of his decision based on the information they had. Members agreed that they wanted to view the results of the consultation and Equalities Impact Assessment to enable them to provide informed views for the Cabinet Member to consider as part of the Key Decision in March.
The Committee resolved to set up a task group to consider the consultation results alongside the Equalities Impact Assessment. They would then provide the Cabinet Member with their views to inform the Cabinet Member Decision Report.
Members of the Task Group to include: Mr D Carroll, Mr P Martin, Mr R Reed, Mrs A Macpherson.
Action: Mr D Jones to provide Ms K Wager with timescales so a Task and Finish Group meeting can be arranged to review the consultation and EIA results, in a timely manner.