Could we bring together the libraries and museums service for all five boroughs in the Tees Valley to form one service where perhaps economies of scale can be achieved? This may be a way of saving the library service in Darlington and keeping the library at Crown Street. The Head of Steam Museum could also be included in the service and linked to other museums in the Tees Valley. Has this been explored and if it has not, can it perhaps be explored?
This has been looked at previously to some degree. The complexity is that libraries tend to be managed in different ways in different places – in some they are in education, some leisure, some culture. This makes the exercise of separating out costs and people much more complex and often there will be a raft of cross subsidy going on. There appears to be little appetite from other authorities at present and regrettably the timescale involved is impractical, as it would probably take a minimum of a year with uncertainty as to whether it could actually achieve the scale of savings we need.Back