Transforming our libraries

This consultation has now closed.

Our library service supports The Deal for the Future, providing our residents with access to tools that grow knowledge and skills, build confidence, and raise both the aspirations of individuals and our communities. Following the Deal for the Future consultation there was strong support for services to be provided in convenient locations and libraries are in the heart of the communities they serve.

We need to find savings totalling £1.4m from the libraries’ budget. This is over half the current library budget, so we need to look at different and creative ways to help identify the savings, or find income generation opportunities.

We want to look at ways to help protect and enhance the library service, rather than reduce the service and opportunities that it offers.

Any offers from local community groups and individuals which might help us to realise our savings are very welcome.

The proposals

It is important to know:

  • We are NOT proposing to close libraries
  • We are NOT stopping the Home Delivery Service

There are four key parts to the proposals:

  • Integrating our libraries and Life Centres - helping to provide the best possible access to information and services for residents
  • Using buildings more effectively - making the best use of space and identifying opportunities to link up with key partners and provide more services under the same roof
  • Increasing volunteer engagement and participation in the service
  • Providing the Home Delivery Library Service (for customers who find it challenging to get to a library) in a different way, by moving to a volunteer model.

Consultation

These proposals are an innovative solution and very different to how other councils are approaching budget reductions, so we need the help of our residents to make them work.

We ran two public consultations for residents:

  • Residents who use the library buildings
  • Residents for use the Home Delivery Library Service

The consultation period which ran from 14th November 2016 to 5th February 2017, has now closed. Thank you for taking the time to have your say on the proposals. If you continue to have any questions please don’t hesitate to contact us by emailing below.

As a council we have a statutory duty under the Public Libraries and Museums Act 1964 ‘to provide a comprehensive and efficient library service for all persons’ in the area that want to make use of it (section 7). In considering how best to deliver the statutory duty each library authority is responsible for determining, through consultation, the local needs and to deliver a modern and efficient library service that meets the requirements of their communities within available resources.

A more detailed look

The proposals will explore locating other partners into Wigan, Leigh and Ashton Libraries. We welcome interest in other library buildings, but have identified these three because they are all large buildings in some of the borough’s busiest town centres.

Proposed developments at Leigh Library include the Life Centre relocating to the library, along with other complementary partners.

In Atherton, the proposal is to move the library and the Life Centre into the Atherton Town Hall building, bringing key services together in one landmark building.

The proposal for a new operating model for the Home Delivery Library Service is based around the introduction of volunteers to the service, and building in additional opportunities to help combat social isolation.

Public meetings

A total of 6 public meetings were arranged during the consultation period.  Public meetings were offered at Ashton, Atherton, Leigh and Wigan Libraries.  For those sessions which attracted an audience, notes of the key questions, suggestions and comments can be found in the ‘Related Documents’ section.

Drop-in sessions

Two drop-in sessions were held at all libraries as part of the consultation period.

Submissions

You can view the number of submissions per library in Wigan. The figures are correct as of 11th January 2017.

Questions?

If you have any questions relating to this consultation, please contact us.

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