Decision details

Community Managed Libraries – contracts and leases

Decision Maker: Deputy Chief Executive and Director for People

Decision status: Recommendations Approved

Is Key decision?: Yes

Is subject to call in?: No

Purpose:

Staffordshire’s Community Managed Libraries have 5-year contract and lease agreements with Staffordshire County Council which can be renewed for a further 5 years with a further option to extend for 5 years. The option to renew is included within the original leases and this was specified as part of the procurement process.
The first contracts and leases can be extended from April 2021.

On 19 February 2020, Cabinet endorsed and agreed a further support package for the community managed library model which will enable the sustainability of the Community Managed Libraries and support their work within communities.

There are 27 Community Managed Libraries that form part of Staffordshire’s statutory library network. In 2019, Werrington Community Managed Library was issued new contracting terms as part of a successful bid to The Big Lottery. Therefore, Werrington Community Managed Library is not included within this paper.

Decision:

To agree an extension to the Phase 1 Community Managed Library Contracts and Leases for a further 5 year term with an option to extend for a further 5-years, and make any necessary variations to the terms of the contracts and leases.

Alternative options considered:

The success of the community managed library model is attributed to the vision of the Community Managed Library organisations; the commitment and enthusiasm of the volunteers and the high level of support provided by the County Council who have built genuine relationships with each organisation.

Establishing the Community Managed Library model has required time, ongoing support for organisations and volunteers from the Community Capacity Manager and Community Support Officers and financial assistance from the Library Service, Strategic Property and Staffordshire ICT.

During 2021 the first set of contracts and leases can be extended. Cabinet agreed in February 2020 that the County Council would continue to provide the agreed support package for a further 5 year period as detailed below:

a. Continued support from the Library Service – professional guidance, expertise, library stock and sundries (including photocopier lease costs and telephone charges)
b. Continued provision of ICT which will be reviewed annually in line with Staffordshire Managed Libraries.
c. Continued support from Strategic Property which will include ongoing maintenance and cleaning of the library building. Utility costs will be reviewed and may remain at the same level; grounds maintenance will be reviewed on an individual basis and CMLs with charitable status will be required to claim back the 80% business rate rebate that they are entitled to.

To ensure the continued success of the County Council’s Community Managed Library model, ongoing support and investment is essential.

Extending the phase 1 Community Managed Library contracts and leases for a further 5-year term with an option to extend for 5-years underlines the County Council’s commitment to the Community Managed Library model.

Publication date: 18/02/2021

Date of decision: 18/02/2021

Accompanying Documents: