Cabinet asked to consult on future library services
Cabinet members will be asked to agree to go to consultation on the future of the library service in Kirklees at their next meeting.
If they agree, the consultation will begin in the first week of the new year.
Specialist agency Qa Research Consultants will handle the consultation on behalf of the Council, if agreed.
Why do we need to consult?
The library service has already delivered £1.8 million of savings in the last two years, but is now looking to redesign the service to within a budget of £2.2 million a year.
The proposed activity will focus on library users on service delivery this time. Earlier consultations in February 2017 and in 2015 took into account the views of non-users of the service.
Cllr Graham Turner, joint Cabinet member for Resources, said:
“We know that there are many people who are keen to have their say on the subject of libraries. It is very emotive and the service has already changed massively in the last few years.
“The process needs to be as open and transparent as possible. We must engage with communities to deliver our services, working in partnership with community groups. Many of our services are already supported by `friends of’ groups and volunteers and we must continue to grow this model.
“The outcome the Council is seeking is for residents and communities to be able to readily access information and services in order to improve the customer experience and journey, first time, more of the time. It is important that we become less reliant on buildings and think how the service can be best delivered.”
Cllr Musarrat Khan, the joint Cabinet member added:
“The way people use libraries is changing, and Kirklees Library Service has to modernise to reflect this. There is some great work taking place, with children and young people’s groups in reading and coding clubs, with health and wellbeing activities, and with business events.
“I would like all these groups to take part in the consultation for us to develop the best, most innovative service we can, given the budget we have.”
What happen’s next?
If councillors agree, the online and face to face consultation will begin in the first week in January. The final report will be available to the service towards the end of April, when the library service will produce a service review report for consideration by elected members. The intention is for this report to be available for Cabinet in July.