Very significant news coming out of the council.
The executive have published their reactions to the formal consultation on library services. The documents are to be presented to the scrutiny committee on Thursday evening.
The key section is here. Under “recommendations”
Option 4 – Maintain 2 Customer Service Advisers in Hale and 3 in Old Trafford. Plus employ a part time Customer Service Specialist on a fixed term contract to establish the volunteer programme and provide a budget for volunteer expenses of £6,000. This would result in a budget pressure of £67,500 for the retained frontline staffing, £12,000 for the Specialist and £6,000 for volunteer expenses – a total of £85,500
Even as it stands, this would be a major victory for the community. While we don’t want to see any cuts or redundancies, reducing the paid staff from 5.75 (FTE) to 3, to be supported by volunteers, is a vastly more credible, sustainable and acceptable plan than the original proposals.
However we can now look at the fully-costed proposals at £85,500, and compare it to the current costs for fully staffing the library (around £100k) and ask whether the minimal savings can in any way justify the structural overhaul involved and the remaining risks to the long term future of Old Trafford library.
More news as we get it.