This section sets out the findings from the consultation exercise undertaken in 2015.
Nearly 8,000 responses were received to the consultation exercise that we carried out from 29 September to 21 December 2015. We asked for your views on how we could reshape the library service whilst retaining a vibrant and viable library provision.
We asked you what you think is important about libraries and what you most value about them. We also asked you for ideas about how money could be saved in the library service and elsewhere in the council.
You told us that you greatly value the library service and want to retain an excellent service in the future.
We asked what was important to you about the library service and the following indicates the percentage of respondents who thought the various items were important or very important:
Other things respondents felt were important included the use of the library as a community space; that the library encourages social interaction; and that libraries are important for children's education.
‘If savings were to be made to the library budget and you had to choose, should the council save money by...
87% chose to ‘keep all current branch libraries open but reduce their opening hours’.
We also asked should we:
89% chose to ‘keep a mobile library service but review the current level of service’.
We have listened carefully to what you told us and this is reflected in the proposal we are putting forward.
‘Do you have any comments or suggestions for how to save money within the library service?’
A number of key themes emerged from what you told us. These included suggestions to:
Look at alternative ways of delivering the library service, including combining services into one building
The council already has seven multi service centres where services are combined into one building. There is a programme to create more multi service centres and our proposal sets out the council’s approach to this.
Use volunteers to deliver services
The council currently uses volunteers to help the library service to deliver specific programmes such as the Summer Reading Challenge.
The library service is introducing e-Books and e-Audio books during 2016. You will be able to use this service by visiting our website.
Introduce or increase charges for book issues
We cannot do this.
Under the Public Libraries and Museums Act 1964, the council is unable to make charges for the loaning of books. However, the library service will be reviewing its charging structure for those areas of the service that charges could be made.
Obtain discounts on the price paid for books
The council purchases books through the Yorkshire Book Consortium which is made up of nine local authorities and in turn this consortium is part of a wider consortium of local authorities in the North and North-West of England. Adult books stock receives a discount of 42% and junior books stock 43%.
‘If savings are not to be made to the library service, how else do you think savings could be made (i.e. by cuts to other council services or by other means)?’
The key themes you raised were to make savings by:
All suggestions received are being considered as part of the council’s work to review services and make savings.
Although these ideas are being analysed and work is ongoing to explore them, the financial pressures on the council mean that the library service and multi service centres are still required to make savings.
In February 2016, Parliament approved a four-year funding settlement offer for local authorities in England.
Due to an unexpected change in the Government’s methodology for allocating funding across local authorities, East Riding of Yorkshire Council’s funding position is now projected to be worse than previously anticipated. After taking account of this new funding settlement, the council needs to find further permanent savings of £16.8 million from its annual budget over the next four years.
What you told us has helped shape our proposal for the library service and we have fully taken it into account.
You told us that you value the library service and want to retain an excellent service in the future. We are confident that our proposal reflects this.
Full details of our proposal are available in the Cabinet report and associated documents which can be can be found on the Cabinet page.