TUPE The Elephant May Mean Bembridge Says Goodbye To The Circus

Update on the future of Bembridge library

Many thanks to Richard Beet for the latest news on Bembridge Library. Ed

A meeting between Isle of Wight Council and the organisation set up to try to save Bembridge library broke up without full agreement on Wednesday night.

Keith FaganDespite dealing with many of the concerns expressed by the Bembridge Library Users Association, Astrid Davies, the Isle of Wight Council’s strategic manager for partnerships, was unable to guarantee indemnity for volunteers against the requirements of employee legislation known as TUPE (Transfer of Undertakings (Protection of Employment) Regulations) should the Association or the Parish Council take on the village’s library.

“Elephant in the room”
“For us, these regulations are the elephant in the room, and none of us wants to take responsibility for a situation that IWC has created,” explained Keith Fagan, chairman of the newly-formed Bembridge Library Users Association (pictured).

“We’re well aware that if we are not careful we may end up as the fall guys with the council walking away saying ‘it wasn’t us guv”. Even if we get the indemnity sorted, we’re still unhappy about the way in which existing library employees have been treated.”

TUPE was introduced to protect employees if the business in which they work changes hands and means that they, and any liabilities associated with them, are legally the responsibility of the new employer.

The legislation could well apply to Bembridge as anyone interested in taking over a lease or licence and operating the same business would be liable.

Questions over lease agreement
Concern was also expressed about the leasing arrangement on offer and the time scales for implementation. IWC has offered a grant of £4,000 towards set-up costs for this year but with no guarantee of further payments.

The Association has been told that money has also been set aside in the parish precept to help run the local library and the Association will be meeting the Parish Council in the next two weeks to discuss the ways this could be used.

Open under council until July
Isle of Wight Council is keeping Bembridge Library open until the end of June on a reduced basis of 21 hours a week. This is likely to be all day Monday (10am to 6pm), Friday (9am to 5pm) as well as half day on Wednesday.

For queries about this release please contact Richard Beet on 875557 or email [email protected]

For queries relating to the Bembridge Library Users Association, call the chairman, Keith Fagan on 874879 or email [email protected]

Friday, 25th March, 2011 8:29am


ShortURL: http://wig.ht/bembridgetupe

Filed under: Bembridge, Budget Cuts, Isle of Wight Council, Isle of Wight News

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7 Comments on "TUPE The Elephant May Mean Bembridge Says Goodbye To The Circus"

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Steve Goodman
A thought; if the council really would like this library to continue, why not fund it by reducing (halving?) the money paid to the CX, or Treasurer, for example (currently about £200 000 p.a. each according to the taxpayers alliance, which also gives figures for the PFI roads director & many other greedy servants of our poorly rated 2 star local authority)? They would still enjoy an… Read more »
this is the whole point why we have taken legal advice and have now challenged the council , what they are doing is illegal. they are forcing council tax payers to take on this responsibility ,when in fact it is a councils duty , they have lied to all of us about these 5 libraries being underused , making them a scapegoat for the councils own mismanagment… Read more »

On top of their huge salaries they are also being paid huge pensions and probaly clain thousands of pounds in various expenses. If these unelected executives and directors are not willing to contribute some of their salaries to keep the libraries open, then it just proves they care very little about this island and are using their positions of power to line their own pockets.

Steve, I fear that philanthropy is almost dead. But to remind ourselves of better times I have listed some candidates. Andrew Carnegie: Inventor of the ‘Sleeper’ Train – He gave away most of his money for the building of libraries, schools and universities in Scotland, America and the rest of the world. Sandown Library? This is what her said “Man does not live by bread alone. I… Read more »
retired hack
The fact that Astrid Davies wouldn’t offer an indemnity against an action under TUPE suggests that the IW Council believes there may be a problem. If there is a problem, then it will apply equally to any other volunteer-run library. Several elephants in several rather small rooms. Overpaid part-time legal supremo Davina Fiore has surely had long enoughn to think about this sort of stuff – remember… Read more »
The implications of “taking over” a village library certainly need to be investigated fully. Following a meeting this morning, on behalf of the legal challenge group,I have told Bembridge that will will offer them whatever support we can, and they have given us the same assurance, the aims of both groups is the same, the continuation of all 11 Island libraries funded and run by the IW… Read more »
Media watcher

TUPE rules certainly prevented anyone taking on the tourist office staff, libraries are exactly the same. Any parish or town taking them on needs to understand what they are getting themselves committed to.