This article was published on February 3, 2015 and information contained within may be out of date.
The future of Spilsby Library is once again in doubt after Lincolnshire County Council’s executive approved plans for a substantially reduced library service.
The proposals were recommended by officers in light of changes in the way libraries are used and the authority’s substantially reduced budget.
The way in which libraries are used is changing, not just in Lincolnshire, but across the country, and it’s important we adapt with the times.
Councillor Nick Worth, Executive Member for Libraries
Under the plans, the council will continue to provide 15 major libraries, along with online services, mobile libraries and specialist support for those unable to reach their nearest library because of, for instance, disability, age or ill health.
These will be complemented by up to 40 community hubs, including library services, developed in partnership with local community groups. Not only will these groups receive ongoing professional support, they will also be given over £5,000 per year towards their running costs and access to a one-off grant of up to £15,000 for changes to buildings or equipment.
The council will continue to run the existing libraries in these areas until 30 September 2015 giving volunteers plenty of time to lay firm foundations for the new community hubs to be developed.
In addition, the authority will undertake a competitive procurement to seek an external organisation to potentially deliver library services on its behalf, including the support for the community hubs. This follows an approach by Greenwich Leisure Limited (GLL), a not-for-profit organisation interested in running local libraries.
Because of the work involved in a competitive procurement, it is likely to take until the end of 2015 before a final decision is reached on who will run the service.