More library cuts planned across Coventry

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More library cuts planned across Coventry

Postby dutchman » Fri Jan 11, 2019 6:43 pm

More jobs are set to go at libraries across Coventry in the latest phase of a council savings plan

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Coventry City Council is set to reduce staff and resources at Aldermoor, Caludon, Canley and Coundon libraries.

A council officer’s report to the cabinet member for education and skills councillor Kevin Maton states: “The changes focus on reductions in the staffing of a number of libraries, the adoption of new ways of working and a reduction in resources purchased by the Library Service.

“The proposals do not include any changes to the number of libraries or their opening hours.

“Plans are being developed to establish ‘Friends of…’ groups for libraries, focusing on Aldermoor, Caludon, Canley and Coundon libraries initially in order to stimulate volunteering and explore the potential for greater community involvement in the running of community libraries.”

The report adds the alternatives could be worse, including closing some of the city’s 17 libraries or reduced opening hours.

The council introduced the Connecting Communities programme in 2015/2016 which resulted in some library services moving to shared premises, being run by volunteers, and some closures.

Volunteers now run Earlsdon, Cheylesmore and Finham libraries, where there are fears of further damage to services.

Arena Park Library was axed and closed in 2016 – less than a decade after it was created as a replacement for the former Holbrook Library.

The council has already saved more than £1.2million in the first two phases of the scheme, the report states.

This phase, the third, identifies a further £320,000 in savings.

Proposals include ‘single staffing’ – with one worker, sometimes supported by a mobile and flexible team of staff travelling between libraries.

Services at Central Library, on Smithford Way, will be reduced to relying on self-service and limited staff supervision from 9-11am Monday to Friday and on Sundays.

The council has dubbed this the ‘Library Express’ model.

The report also states the council could scrap almost all hard copies of newspapers and magazines, making titles available only in digital format.

It also proposes the introduction of a privately run cafe in the Central Library to boost income.

These changes could come into force from April, the report states.

A review will examine reductions in other fixed budgets and into management and non-frontline posts.

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Re: More library cuts planned across Coventry

Postby rebbonk » Fri Jan 11, 2019 6:51 pm

Obviously supporting unviable businesses is more important to the rabble that we elected to represent our views.
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Re: More library cuts planned across Coventry

Postby dutchman » Sat Feb 02, 2019 7:39 am

Library cuts in Coventry 'nail in coffin' before UK City of Culture 2021, union says

CUTS to libraries across Coventry under the latest council savings plans have been condemned by a city union as ‘another nail in the coffin’ ahead of City of Culture 2021.

As we reported last month, Coventry City Council is set to reduce staff and resources at Aldermoor, Caludon, Canley and Coundon libraries.

Cabinet member for education, Councillor Kevin Maton, gave the go-ahead to the plans last Thursday.

It is hoped they will save £319,000 a year.

The changes will reduce the number of librarians, and introduce single staffing at some locations.

There will be a so-called ‘Library Express’ self-service.

Trade union branch Coventry City Unison, which represents staff, slammed the proposals as an ‘express service to nowhere’.

A Unison spokesperson said: “What an express model would look like for service users was not detailed.

“What was also not consulted on, either by staff or the public, was to introduce single staffing in four libraries – Aldermoor, Caludon Castle School, Canley and Coundon.

“We have a major concern over the safety and wellbeing of the staff and users of the libraries if they were single staffed.

“The proposed annual cost saving alone of £319,000 for libraries is less than the costs for the Godiva Festival at £460,000.

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