Sunday 9 February 2014

Neverending Story

Oxfordshire County Council are doing another cull of staff. We've already had the following cull either already cut or in the process of cutting:

  • Volunteer library "savings":       £313,000
  • Management Restructure:         £273,000
  • Self service Staffing savings:     £256,000
  • Mobile library savings:             £84,000

And now it turns out that because of the death spiral of funding for local councils there is to be yet another cull of staff at OCC which will supposedly save another £250,000. I do feel sorry for the staff at OCC at the cack handed and botched way this has been handled. The cuts have rumbled on for years now and they must be sick of it. The dumb librarian blog, which claims to be a OCC staff member of some sort seems to back this up.

According to the councillor responsible for libraries, Lorraine Lindsay-Gale:

"These proposals, if agreed by full council later this month, will further develop the savings already identified as part of the Cabinet’s commitment of December 2011 to deliver a cost effective, high quality library service that is fit for the 21st century through:
  • Rationalising management support
  • Assessing current procurement arrangements
  • Benefitting from best practice and opportunities to review and develop services"

I don't think we're going to end up with a quality library service that is fit for the 21st century, I think OCC will keep cutting and the service get worse and they'll use that as a excuse to keep cutting further.

On the stupid non-money saving scheme to get volunteers to replace the low paid library managers and assistants, despite it being passed in 2011, there are currently no libraries fully implemented (page 377!). There are 21 to be culled of half their staffing and there's only eleven even in the negotiation stage. They all have to be up and running by April next year. There are clearly going to be libraries failing and closing despite the hollow promises of the council when David Cameron and Keith Mitchell bounced this undemocratically through in 2011.

I suspect the further culling of the staff is because they have realised the stupid scheme to use volunteers isn't going to save they money they pretended it would and now the library service has to take yet another cut. If Cameron had kept out of it and the council was competent they would have implemented the back office sharing with BucksCC and it could have been phased in over these past few years and they wouldn't have to keep going back to libraries for further cuts. Sadly this didn't happen and we're going to bounce along in a staff moral sapping/sacking, library destroying death spiral for the next decade until only the central library in the newly developed Westgate Centre is the only thing left standing.

It just needs some vision and to step away from the ideological dogma. Sadly nationally Cameron still thinks the Big Society is great and the moron Vaizey in yet another breathtaking fit of hypocrisy has commissioned yet another pointless report to kick the can further down the road and waste time and money but keep the willfully blind of the plight of libraries busy in the Westminster bubble.

No comments:

Post a Comment