Croydon and Wandsworth reveal library contractors shortlist

An official shortlist of potential partners to run the borough’s libraries has been released.

Wandsworth and Croydon councils are working together to find a company to run its libraries and have narrowed the list of potential candidates to three: John Laing Integrated Services Ltd, Greenwich Leisure Ltd and an in-house Wandsworth council service.

A preferred bidder is due to be selected later this year.

Croydon cabinet member for children, young people and learning Councillor Tim Pollard said: "Contracted services have saved local authorities such as ours many millions of pounds over the years.

"This exercise is an exciting opportunity to replicate these efficiencies and, at the same time, deliver some real improvements and innovations that will be for the benefit of all our customers."

The successful contractor will be expected to continue providing core library services free of charge to users, while library buildings will remain in the ownership of the local authority.

Wandsworth environment and culture spokesman Councillor Jonathan Cook said: "The libraries in our two boroughs are among the most popular and best loved in London. Our aim is to build on these achievements and deliver a new and improved service for our residents.

"Our partnership with Croydon will utilise the latest service innovations while also allowing us to generate savings by sharing overheads and purchasing power.

"In these tough economic times we must ensure libraries continue to evolve and keep pace with fast changing needs and demands from the public."

Both councils have promised libraries will not be shut.

A consultation process is underway with residents in Upper Norwood over the Upper Norwood Joint Library, previously jointly run by Croydon and Lambeth councils.

Results of the consultation are expected to be published after the summer.

Comments (4)

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12:22pm Sat 7 Jul 12

Shirley Burnham says...

JS Laing runs libraries in Hounslow. Have journalists knowledge of their performance there ? There seems to be very little info in the public domain - and a lack of investigative journalism. Maybe you, in Surrey, can look into it ?
JS Laing runs libraries in Hounslow. Have journalists knowledge of their performance there ? There seems to be very little info in the public domain - and a lack of investigative journalism. Maybe you, in Surrey, can look into it ? Shirley Burnham

1:55pm Sat 7 Jul 12

Alan Wylie says...

From my knowledge of other private library contracts, staff are not encouraged or even allowed to speak about their employers unless it's positive, but then again it's the same in the public sector! Also Laing will be very guarded about performance data etc due to market sensitivity etc, so it's no wonder there isn't much in the public domain! see http://dontprivatise
libraries.blogspot.c
o.uk/2011/03/john-la
ing-and-hounslow.htm
l
From my knowledge of other private library contracts, staff are not encouraged or even allowed to speak about their employers unless it's positive, but then again it's the same in the public sector! Also Laing will be very guarded about performance data etc due to market sensitivity etc, so it's no wonder there isn't much in the public domain! see http://dontprivatise libraries.blogspot.c o.uk/2011/03/john-la ing-and-hounslow.htm l Alan Wylie

8:25pm Sun 8 Jul 12

Elizabeth A says...

Another article written without reference to the local campaign group, "Save Croydon Libraries Campaign" on twitter at @savecroydonlibs. This article is inaccurate. The Upper Norwood library consultation extension has never been advertised. In fact the consultation was not advertised properly and flawed, just like the main consultation on just six Croydon Libraries.

Cllr Pollard is out of touch (at best) and by printing these comments you are helping to perpetuate a myth. There is a drastic reduction in the service in Croydon libraries already which both local papers have failed to cover. Croydon residents love their libraries and miss the service we had. A major concern is also for the staff who try to provide a service under very difficult circumstances. They can't speak but residents and campaigners can. Please present a balanced view and not just the councils view. It was Wandsworth who announced the bidders shortlist, not Croydon, wasn't it? And this is not the first time Croydon learn of info from other sources. The council's unwillingness to keep residents informed shows contempt for Croydon residents who spoke up on this issue in their thousands.
Another article written without reference to the local campaign group, "Save Croydon Libraries Campaign" on twitter at @savecroydonlibs. This article is inaccurate. The Upper Norwood library consultation extension has never been advertised. In fact the consultation was not advertised properly and flawed, just like the main consultation on just six Croydon Libraries. Cllr Pollard is out of touch (at best) and by printing these comments you are helping to perpetuate a myth. There is a drastic reduction in the service in Croydon libraries already which both local papers have failed to cover. Croydon residents love their libraries and miss the service we had. A major concern is also for the staff who try to provide a service under very difficult circumstances. They can't speak but residents and campaigners can. Please present a balanced view and not just the councils view. It was Wandsworth who announced the bidders shortlist, not Croydon, wasn't it? And this is not the first time Croydon learn of info from other sources. The council's unwillingness to keep residents informed shows contempt for Croydon residents who spoke up on this issue in their thousands. Elizabeth A

4:54pm Tue 10 Jul 12

ANNE GILES says...

In their thousands? Really? I don't think so. I for one haven't used a library for years and years and years.
In their thousands? Really? I don't think so. I for one haven't used a library for years and years and years. ANNE GILES

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