Cornwall Libraries and One Stop Shops: Consultation Result Respected

Posted on: 17th July 2015

Cornwall Libraries and One Stop Shops: Consultation result respected by the Communities Policy Advisory Committee today. Anyone who has not been following the story so far can catch up by following the link! My thoughts re Cornwall Libraries and One Stop Shops

In short, there was a consultation about the future of Cornwall’s Libraries and One Stop Shops and the preferred option of people responding said they wanted local communities to be given the chance to design and put in place arrangements that suited local communities rather than the whole service being put out to tender. Much to the surprise of many Cornwall Councillors, Officers recommended the ‘outsourcing’ option as they felt it was more likely to make the savings that Government budget cuts require. I was very disappointed in this as St Just Town Council and the Friends of St Just Library have many good ideas and have just come together to work on a joint plan and I want this to have a chance to bear fruit.

It is fair to say I lobbied and argued against the recommendation and enough Councillors agreed so it was never put to the vote. I do not do short hand so I cannot put exactly what was agreed today but it was along the lines of this:

The future of the Face to Face Service (that’s Libraries and One Stop Shops) has been withdrawn from the next Cabinet meeting so that further work can go on, as follows:

  • Progress the devolution of local Libraries and/ or One Stop Shops to Town/ Parish Councils and/ or community groups who have expressed interest
  • Explore technology options for reducing costs and improving the service
  • Where there are no local devolution proposals those communities will be approached to explore possibilities again
  • Where there is currently a separate Library and One Stop Shop in a Town, options to combine will be explored
  • Only if not all Libraries and One Stop Shops have a potential local solution will external providers be considered for the remainder

What this means for our own local Library is that the Town Council, the Friends of St Just Library, our local schools, myself and Cornwall Council Officers will work to deliver a solution that is right for us. Anyone wanting to contribute views or comments can contact any of those involved.