21/08/2017 - Permalink

Residents’ views being sought on future delivery of the library service in Church Stretton

Related topics: Leisure, culture and heritage

Residents in Church Stretton are being asked to comment on the criteria which will be used to help choose the best provider to take on the running of the local library.

Church Stretton Library

Church Stretton Library

Shropshire Council recently consulted with Church Stretton residents about their priorities for the provision of a library service.  The survey received over 500 responses.

All the points raised within the consultation have been considered and has helped shaped a draft set of criteria.  The criteria will be used in the selection of a new provider of library services within a formal tendering process, following the Community Right to Challenge legislation.

Before Shropshire Council goes out to procure a new organisation (“provider”) to manage library services in Church Stretton, the council would welcome comments in relation to the specification. Such as, if the council is asking the right questions to the potential provider and whether it is weighting them in relation to the views expressed by the public.

Lezley Picton, Shropshire Council’s Cabinet member for culture and leisure, said:

“It is important that we work alongside residents in Church Stretton, and other communities in Shropshire, to shape how services will look in the future. We would encourage all residents to give us your views.”

Residents can complete the survey online at http://new.shropshire.gov.uk/get-involved/selection-criteria-for-the-appointment-of-a-new-organisation-to-manage-library-services-in-church-stretton/ or visit the ‘Get Involved’ pages on the Shropshire Council website shropshire.gov.uk . Paper copies are available at the following locations: the library, leisure centre, Mayfair Health and Well-Being Centre, and Church Stretton Town Council’s office.

The closing date for the survey is 5pm on Monday 18 September 2017.

To find out more about Church Stretton Library and what is offers visit https://new.shropshire.gov.uk/libraries/find-a-library/church-stretton-library/

Further information

Work to appoint a new provider to manage and develop library services in Church Stretton commenced when the council invited expressions of interest (under the “Community Right to Challenge” legislation) from local community groups in autumn 2016. Two valid expressions of interest were received and the council is now undertaking a procurement exercise to select a new organisation. For more details of the Community Right to Challenge process please visit: http://new.shropshire.gov.uk/doing-business-with-us/community-right-to-challenge/
Whilst the decision over which organisation runs the library in the future is for the council to make, we want to make sure that we have taken into account the views of Church Stretton library users and non-users when we set out our selection criteria. These are included within the tender questions and the tender scoring scheme, and are informed by the library services service specification.

It is anticipated that once a bidder has been chosen, the new arrangements for the library service will be in place by the end of summer of 2018.

Shropshire Council is taking a locality approach to commissioning services. Engagement with local partners to support and retain the local delivery of a range of services and activities is a vital component of this work.

For the library service, this has meant working within local communities to find sustainable solutions that will secure library provision for the future. It has been recognised that there is no ‘one size fits all’ solution, so approaches have varied, depending on local circumstances and priorities.