I keep thinking that the blog post I write will be my last. Then I keep looking at the data or hearing a new announcement and my brain starts whirring off again. In Oxfordshire such is the majority the Conservatives have in the county council that if they have decided to vote this through the other parties don't have the numbers to stop them. Since this proposal is from the cabinet a lot of people are assuming it is a forgone conclusion. I actually don't, I still think we have a chance to get the right decision for the people in rural libraries across Oxfordshire. I revisited the CIPFA data again and when looking at in with fresh eyes it is very clear that the savings could easily be made within the service support area of the council. Compared to the other shire authorities on the foi based "What Do They Know" website the OCC back office efficiency is terrible:
This is really, really poor compared to the other three. OCC should be on the phone begging to know from the others where they are going wrong.
The other thing I did was look at areas of savings I have found within the library service itself. To my knowledge none of this has been examined in great detail by OCC and hasn't been presented to the public for discussion as a option to make the savings:
I'm not going to waffle on about the numbers, they again speak for themselves. I don't like to see anyone lose their jobs but I really feel the structural deficit has to be tackled and the library service must take its share. The bit of the library service is the question.
I hope when the scrutiny committee and councillors look at the proposal and the independent response from cipfa they ignore the leading questions that you could only respond to with a yes and instead read the conclusion:
"Many locally-specific points were made; however key issues are relevant
to all group 4 and 5 community libraries. Most notably that: there is
little support for using volunteers for roles currently performed by paid
library staff; there is a genuine feeling that the consultation was biased
against those residing in rural areas; there is a concern that communities
will struggle to recruit the required number of volunteers, and that they
will not be able to retain those volunteers over time; and that the ‘pain’ of
the library cuts should be shared equally across all libraries, both urban
Please restore my faith in politics and do the right thing.
"Disciplining yourself to do what you know is right and important, although difficult, is the highroad to pride, self-esteem, and personal satisfaction."
Cleaning costs are here:
Previous post on the lights:
Back office savings (25% of 8m is 2m)