Changes to library service to be considered by leading councillors

Library users in Cowes, Freshwater and Ventnor will be keeping their fingers crossed tonight as the Executive members consider recommendations on proposed changes to their libraries.

Looking at books in the library:

The Isle of Wight council’s (IWC) recent consultation on proposed changes to the library service attracted 1,032 responses from members of the public and town councils.

The proposed changes will affect the mobile library services as well as three libraries; Cowes, Freshwater and Ventnor. The proposals will call on the town and parish councils to consider a partnership run library in their area with the IWC.

Town and parish councils have their say
In response to the consultation, the clerk for Cowes town council said,

“Cowes Town Council request that the provision of a library service in Cowes remains unchanged”

Freshwater Parish Council concluded in their reply,

“I therefore trust that the consultation process will conclude the need for the library service to continue, at least in the form of a Community Supported Library and that IWC will fully support Freshwater Parish Council in its ambition to maintain and develop the facility beyond the IWC’s remit.”

Ventnor Town Council, which contains two deprived wards, have said they believe the library should remain staffed by two members of staff. The paper indicates they are willing to commit to the full year running costs of the building from 1 April 2016, but have not allocated budget for making the building fit for purpose.

The town council say they’d still like to see the library move from its current location on the High Street to Ventnor Central (the former youth centre) on Victoria Street opposite the Spar.

The paper below sets out the recommendations for members to consider at tonight’s meeting.

If the recommendations are approved by the executive committee, the previously proposed reduction in opening hours won’t go ahead.

  • Option 2 To authorise officers to begin negotiations with the town and parish councils to deliver partnership library services in Cowes, Freshwater and Ventnor keeping their current opening hours
  • Option 4 To authorise officers to complete the negotiations with the town and parish councils using the template lease based on that used with the community libraries previously (Appendix 3)
  • Option 5 To reduce the mobile library provision by making some changes to routes and stops which will be identified through further investigation of the customer base and extend the partnership with AgeUK to improve the way the Home Library Service is delivered and reduce costs. Consultation with mobile library users and town and parishes affected will be undertaken to enable the library service to get best value from the vehicles and staff by August 2016.
  • Option 6 – To report back to Executive in January on the outcome of the negotiations with the town and parish councils and any issues which may have arisen


Image: Arbeiterreserve under CC BY 2.0

Tuesday, 27th October, 2015 4:21pm



Filed under: Island-wide, Isle of Wight Council, Isle of Wight News, Top story

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1 Comment on "Changes to library service to be considered by leading councillors"

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Whatever happens the IOW Council shouldn’t let these buildings run down. The repairs need to be done otherwise the fixed assets could be wasted. I am sure that an agreement could be reached with Ventnor Council over two paid staff, The lease on buildings will probably have to be paid for by the IOW council for the time being as the town council couldn’t afford it out… Read more »