Library service future secured
Published Thursday, 20 July 2017
The future of the council’s library service has been secured following the decision to award a contract to operate the service to Greenwich Leisure Limited.
The decision to award a 10 year contract at the Executive on Wednesday will generate savings for the council, protecting the library service, with the savings also helping to protect other frontline services, including to the most vulnerable. The decision to award the contract to Greenwich Leisure Limited follows a market testing exercise, with the specifications meaning that the successful provider would need to operate the existing library service, with the same number of libraries and existing staff.
“I am enormously encouraged by this news, which effectively guarantees the future of our library service. The council remains in full control of this much valued service and whilst other boroughs have closed libraries, we have invested multi-millions to deliver new libraries. Whilst other boroughs have reduced staff, we have found a way to maintain existing staff levels and the service they provide. I would like to pay tribute to our staff for their professionalism, their continued diligence throughout this period and their continued willingness to serve the residents of this borough and the many others that use our libraries” said Councillor Peter Morgan, Executive Councillor for Renewal and Recreation.
Chris Symons, Director of Development at GLL said: “We look forward to working in partnership with Bromley Council and existing library staff, to maintain and improve library services within the borough. As a charitable social enterprise, our ethos has always been to enhance services, make a genuine contribution to the local communities in which we operate and offer solid career pathways for those who work for us. We intend to share our industry expertise, garnered from running libraries across England and to encourage many more local residents to use and enjoy Bromley’s libraries.”
Greenwich Leisure Limited, which is a charitable social enterprise, already manages a number of library services elsewhere and will be able to generate savings to the council by utilising their economies of scale as well as their charitable status meaning that the cost base is reduced. Details of the savings were outlined in the Part Two section of the report, with much of this detail being released into the public domain when legal and commercial issues have been completed.
- The decision, which is subject to the council’s ‘call in’ procedures could see the contractual agreement with Greenwich Leisure Limited commencing in November 2017.
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