Monday, 16 April 2018

Proposals to Outsource Libraries in Herefordshire.

In Oct 2016 and then again in Nov 17 Herefordshire CC issued a 'Soft Market Test' for their museum, library and archive services. Basically this is to gauge market interest before making a final decision to outsource/privatise.

It now looks as if the council are ready to push ahead with the process with Halo Leisure Services Ltd, The Courtyard Trust, GLL (Greenwich Leisure Ltd) and Vision Redbridge Culture & Leisure Ltd in the running but concerns and doubts have been expressed in a recent article and council submission by the campaign group Joint Action for Herefordshire Libraries and by Cllr Gandy, a Tory, who not only mentioned the Carillion scandal but said;

"What evidence is there that outsourcing will produce the savings required and by how much?"

As far as I can see the council is looking to cut £65k in the current financial year from the Libraries budget so from these figures and the fact that the council has been pushing the community-led model over the last few years it looks as if the decision to privatise libraries will be an ideological and not a fiscal one, which in my experience is more than often the case.