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Has a full options appraisal been carried out to review how the library service could be made sustainable? If not, why not?

In 2011/12, the Council did carry out an options appraisal for the Library service, which considered a number of proposals:

1)              Remaining in current location

2a)          Remaining in current location but half time at Cockerton

2b)         Close Cockerton and operate from Crown Street only

3a)          Keep Cockerton and move Crown Street operation to Central Hall

3b)         Close Cockerton and move Crown Street operation to Central Hall

4a)          Keep Cockerton and move Crown Street operation to the Town Hall

4b)         Close Cockerton and move Crown Street operation to the Town Hall

Cabinet considered these options on 22 February 2012 and agreed to note budget reductions in the service of £242,000 through consolidation of management and operational restructure, reducing opening hours at Cockerton from 50 to 28, and further explore opportunities for savings beyond 2013/14.  The current approach adopted by Cabinet in responding to its financial challenge is to look at producing a core offer budget being what we believe to be a budget that meets our legal obligations, the Core Offer budget includes Crown Street library.  As part of Cabinet’s considerations of how to utilise the £2.5m futures fund they decided to include the Dolphin Centre.  The cost of the library and the Dolphin Centre overall could be reduced by £300,000 by relocating the library to the Dolphin Centre therefore this is judged to be the most cost effective model for the 2 services.

In addition you will be aware we have worked with various organisations to try and deliver a volunteer based library service at Cockerton unfortunately without success.

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