Working Group to deliver vision for libraries

Warrington Borough Council has confirmed the priorities of the Working Group tasked with developing a sustainable future for the borough’s libraries.

The council’s executive board has approved the establishment of the group, which will define a new libraries and community learning strategy for Warrington.

The group, which will be chaired by council Chief Executive, Professor Steven Broomhead, has now announced its ‘terms of reference’ – or purpose and aims.

Made up of two council officers, three LiveWire Warrington officers and two independent advisors, the group’s main priority will be to implement a modernisation programme aimed at ensuring a sustainable libraries offer for Warrington residents 

Its objectives include looking closely at the recommendations received, following the recent consultation on the future of the library service, run by LiveWire on behalf of the council. 

The group will develop robust business cases and options as well as carrying out needs and impact assessments for each of the proposals. An engagement and communications plan will also be developed, to ensure library users have the opportunity to help shape the plans.

The council’s executive board member for culture, leisure and community, Cllr Tony Higgins, said: “The significant public feedback we received during our consultation has shown us how passionate people are about the future of library services in Warrington. That’s why it’s vital that we examine all of the options very carefully, to make sure we get it right. The Working Group will help us achieve this.

“There are real challenges ahead. While it’s crucial that we modernise our libraries service in order to make it sustainable for generations to come, we are faced with huge government cuts which are impacting on all of our services . This Working Group is the next step forward in negotiating these challenges and finding the best solutions for our libraries, working with our partners and communities.”

The group will, initially, meet every three weeks. Meetings will be held in public – except for when discussing information considered confidential under Access to Information Rules. Meeting papers will be published on the council’s website 

The Terms of Reference of Warrington’s Working Group are set out below:

The group will:

•          Support Warrington Borough Council to:

-           Deliver a libraries service in compliance with the Public Libraries and Museums Act 1964.

-           Carry out adequate consultation with regards to any changes to the libraries service.

-           Have regard to its equality duty under section 149 of the Equality Act 2010.

•          Develop and publish a strategic vision for Warrington libraries.

•          Develop robust options, appraisals and business cases for each of the proposals outlined in the LiveWire modernisation proposals report presented to Warrington Borough Council’s executive board on 13th February 2017.

•          Develop needs and impact assessments for each of the proposals outlined in the LiveWire modernisation report, drawing on the consultation feedback already undertaken.

•          Develop an engagement and communications plan to ensure the involvement of library users in the development of the strategic vision and modernisation programme.

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•          Present a set of fully worked up proposals for approval by Warrington Borough Council’s Executive Board.  

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