The consultation has now closed. The full results from the consultation are provided in the report here. We have also outlined how we will be using the results under 'What happens next'.
Despite economic growth, Barnet Council faces a significant budget gap of £98.4m over the next five years and meeting this gap will involve some difficult decisions about how the council spends its money.
Barnet wants to continue to offer high quality library services to all its residents but will need to change how these services are delivered in order to respond to the financial challenge, as well as to make the most of emerging opportunities to meet people’s needs in new and different ways. The council has investigated many ways to provide the service more effectively and efficiently and has developed three potential options based on these, each of which would reduce the amount spent on the library service each year.
We want to hear the views of Barnet residents – both users and non-users of libraries – and people from outside the borough who use Barnet libraries. We also wish to find out if you have any particular concerns with the potential options we have developed. We need your input to help shape our plans so that we can meet the challenges we face and provide a sustainable library service in the future.
Why We Are Consulting
Using what residents and library users from outside the borough have told us in consultations since 2011, including most recently in a series of focus groups held in August and September 2014, the council has developed three potential options for how Barnet’s library service could be provided in the future on a reduced budget.
We want to give everyone – regardless of whether they currently use libraries or not – the opportunity to have their say on our proposals before a decision is made.
In particular we want to hear your views on:
Our vision for the future library service.
The range of approaches we have identified that could deliver cost savings or increase income for the library service.
Which option you would prefer out of the three described in this consultation.
How you currently use the library service and what you value about it.
What Happens Next
The consultation has now closed. The consultation was open from 10 November 2014 to 22 February 2015.
We would like to thank everyone who took part in the future of Barnet’s library service consultation. We received 3,853 responses from residents, organisations and staff through a range of consultation methods, with 3,001 completing the online and paper questionnaires and 852 participating through face to face engagement and written submissions.
The huge number of people who participated in the consultation shows the importance of library services to the residents of Barnet. The council is now looking at how we can use the consultation feedback to inform the future library service.
In particular, the results of the consultation will be used to inform the development of proposals which will be put into a report on the future shape of library provision in Barnet. The report will be considered by the Children’s, Education, Libraries and Safeguarding Committee in the Autumn.
You can read the full findings from the consultation in the report here. We have also provided a document containing Frequently Asked Questions.
Please note the consultation report is an independent report which has been compiled by Opinion Research Services (ORS). Paper copies of the report will also be available in Libraries from the 4th August 2015, and the full data sets from the completed questionnaires have also been provided below under ‘related documents’.