Proposed change to the provision of Northamptonshire Libraries and Information Services

Closed 22 Mar 2019

Opened 23 Jan 2019

Overview

In October 2017 a public consultation was held around three proposals for the future of Northamptonshire Libraries. Details of this consultation are available on our past consultation website.

Following a Judicial Review in August 2018, the decision to keep 15 libraries under Northamptonshire County Council (NCC) control and offer the other 21 to community groups to be run as independent libraries was quashed. In September 2018, the new Chief Executive of NCC conducted a new review of the library service, to make sure that NCC delivers its statutory duty to provide a “comprehensive and efficient” library service, whilst achieving the necessary savings for the Council by identifying opportunities to work with community groups to co-produce community managed libraries where possible. Following meetings with community groups, parishes, towns and Borough and District councils, individual proposals have been identified for nearly every library within the county. We are now consulting on these proposals.

This questionnaire asks you to respond about just one library, and the proposal for the library that you are responding to is explained later in this questionnaire. If you would like to know more about all of the proposals developed so far, please visit our consultation website or the weblinks at the bottom of this page for more information.

When we first started the consultation we were still working closely with communities to develop solutions for the following eight libraries:

  • Abington
  • Duston
  • Far Cotton
  • Finedon
  • Higham Ferrers
  • Irchester
  • Long Buckby
  • St James

We are now in a position where we can consult on the proposals for these eight libraries. However, as consultation on these eight libraries started later (23 January) than the other 28 libraries within the county, the deadline for giving us your views on the proposals for these eight libraries is 22 March 2019. The consultation period for giving us your views on the other 28 of the county’s libraries started on 12 December 2018 and the deadline for feedback was 8 February 2019. This means the proposals for all of the county’s libraries are open for feedback for the same period of time.

The proposals we have developed set out how we might deliver library services in your community in future. The proposals demonstrate the aim to keep as many libraries open as possible. However, for a number of libraries, we need community support to help us to achieve this.

If we are unable to keep libraries open in certain communities, we will explore the potential to deliver library services in other ways, such as through alternative venues within communities, online services or through the Library to You Service.

NCC cannot consider maintaining the library service in its current form due to budgetary constraints and the need to deliver savings to stabilise the organisation and to ensure that the remaining Library provision is sustainable. The proposals being put forward meet the statutory requirement in any event.

We recognise that there are a number of alternative models in other areas, however the current proposals are able to offer a solution which maintains the optimum number of libraries within the most efficient and sustainable cost model.

The proposals harness already strong community support for local libraries and use local knowledge and enthusiasm to provide the building blocks for a sustainable library offer. We are very grateful for the commitment shown by local groups in developing these proposals, which, as presented offer the best possible solution for each community.

Please see our consultation website or the weblinks at the bottom of this page for a copy of the Cabinet paper and details of the proposals for each library.

How to have your say
This questionnaire gives you the opportunity to tell us what you think about the library proposals. If you prefer, you can request a paper copy of this questionnaire from your library or use a computer at your library free of charge to complete this questionnaire online.

Your feedback will be used to help us have a better understanding of people’s views on our proposals and will help us shape the future of Northamptonshire Libraries and Information Services. Your feedback will be part of a report with many other people’s feedback, so you will not be personally identified.

You do not have to answer all of the questions. If you don’t want to answer a question, or don’t know the answer, then move on to the next question.

You can also give us your comments at a consultation drop-in event which will be held in each library that may be affected, and speak to a member of staff about the proposals. Please see our consultation website for dates and times.

You can also give us your views by emailing or writing to us. Please see our contact details below.

If you need any help in completing this questionnaire, please speak to a member of Library staff.

Before completing this questionnaire we recommend you read the supporting information for this consultation, including the equality impact assessments, which are available on our consultation website or via the weblinks at the bottom of this page.

If you have any queries, comments or would like a copy of this survey in another format (including, a paper copy, easy read or large print), you can contact us by email, post or telephone. Our contact details are as follows:

Email address: consult@northamptonshire.gov.uk
Postal address: Consultation, Equalities and Accessibility Team, BIPM, Northamptonshire County Council, One Angel Square, Angel Street, Northampton NN1 1ED
Telephone: 0300 126 1000

Thank you for helping us by completing this questionnaire.