Hillingdon sums

Initial report here and the council report here.

If £80k is being diverted from an RFID project to fund the refurb, and the new bookstock is to be funded from savings on consortium purchasing- so no new monies there- where is the other £180k being saved from? Edit Some of the refurb money, 30%, was spent on new books. /Edit Is it all acounted for by the 30% cheaper furniture and supply chain improvements? Perhaps some of it is from the savings on books? Or the Starbucks deal? Or the ‘scaling back’ of outreach?

Can the Council comment on this ‘saving’? They should be proud to, saving public money like that.

They will retrain all staff so there is no distinction, no assistants and librarians. Just one level of jack-of-all trades staff to serve in the ‘enhanced’ hours. And these people, despite their ‘enhanced’ training are likely to be paid less.

My underlying concern is that Hillingdon residents- and it seems few to none of them were consulted- will get a lot of shiny new coffee shops and libraries with lots of new books, and noone to provide any more service than dishing out books and some sort of mediocre fits all ‘information’ service- and coffee of course.

A building full of books is not a library, no matter how many books or how nice the building.

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4 Responses to Hillingdon sums

  1. Michael says:

    I was wondering how much market research Coates had actually done on this, since he’s so keen on the stuff…

  2. Pete says:

    I think he has presented his ideas, the council like them and have joined them with their own Starbucks etc ideas.
    It seems no members of the public were consulted. Perhaps as representatives of the public the council felt they didn’t need to…

  3. Michael says:

    I should point out that I misread the title of this post as “Hillingdon slums”. I also misread the title of a book in our History section yesterday: it’s named for (and is presumably about) the king who famously tried to hold back the sea…

    It just strikes me that since Coates goes on about the importance of market research – establishing the percieved need for services, how they should be delivered and so on – he might have actually done some.

    Still, who’s to say that employees of the council aren’t in a position to define public services? It’s what they’ve been employed for, after all. And that vital link with elected Members is there *if* people choose to engage.

  4. Pete says:

    Ah good Old King Cnut…

    Well, it would be ironic to say the least if these were simply the ideas of the Leisure (or whateever) Committee.

    As for the elected Members, will they be around to see the whole thing through?

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