Question to Council 15 January 2009
QUESTION to COUNCIL
Swindon Borough Council Meeting, 15 January 2009, from Public Gallery
Ms. Shirley Burnham, Save Old Town Library Campaign
"Have you consulted with the Unions on their agreement with you not to replace employees with volunteers and, if so, what was the outcome
Are you able to refute an assertion from Dorset that you are shamefully misrepresenting the 'Dorset model'
Have you properly informed community groups about these matters before consulting them
And, as a result of your proposals, what will be the fate of the superb Old Town Library staff and other library services personnel across Swindon ?"
You can contact your Ward Councillors to express your concerns. Please
What use is proposed for the Council's own building in which Old Town Library is housed if, heaven forbid, the library is closed down ?
Answers to Question and Supplementary Question
Written Answer to Question
The Leader of the Council has responded :
Thank you for your question. Cabinet has consulted with the Unions about this agreement and the union representatives indicated that they understood the Council's priorities.
When talking to the staff and to the Friends, libraries management have mentioned Dorset as one example of an authority which has used volunteers to staff libraries. Buckinghamshire, Cambridgeshire and East Sussex have also been mentioned. At no time have we said we would use the Dorset model.
At the Old Town and Lawn area panel meeting on 11 December 2008 ward councillors raised these issues with the local community, which included some representatives of residents' associations, to gauge the interest for potential volunteers before going to full consultation.
These staff would be redeployed into similar posts currently vacant at other libraries, so that we do not lose their valuable skills.
Verbal Answer to Supplementary Question No use is planned for the building.