Sunday, 4 January 2015

Brent Council proposes to privatise the management of it's library service.

Martin Francis of Brent Green Party has just blogged about proposals by Brent Council to privatise the management of it's library service, see;

"This is the proposal (ENS18) in the documentation that went to Cabinet last month

To change the management of the library service to a trust arrangement. The exact arrangement will need to be determined. Within London, five authorities deliver their services in conjunction with other authorities, one delivers through a charitable trust established by the Council which also delivers other services such as leisure centres and seven have outsourced delivery to a social enterprise or a private sector provider. Elsewhere in the country, some library services have been outsourced to a staff-managed mutual or social enterprise, and larger library services have been commissioned to run smaller ones. Charitable organisations are eligible for an 80% rebate on NNDR. Changes to rules on business rates in 2013 mean that 70% of the cost of this rebate is borne by Central Government with the remainder being covered by the local authority. Therefore the saving to the Council on business rates of transferring a library service to the charitable sector is 56% of the total rates bill - in Brent this amounts to a saving of approximately £160K. The exact level of savings would depend on the tenders received.
It will take approximately 12 months to complete this work and switch to a new management arrangement.
How would this affect users of this service?
There would have to be public consultation and a full impact assessment before proceeding.
There would be no direct impact on service users as there will be no reduction or significant change in service levels or quality. "

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