An extensive 12-week public consultation on KCC’s plans to modernise its Libraries, Registration and Archives service by the creation of a charitable trust closes next week (Wednesday, 8 April).
Since the consultation’s launch on 12 January, KCC’s Libraries, Registration and Archives service has organised a series of 27 roadshows across the county to give Kent residents the chance to learn more about KCC’s plans.
In addition, residents have been invited to register their views online at www.kent.gov.uk/libraries and a questionnaire contained in an explanatory booklet has been available in county libraries.
KCC has considered a number of options to find the best way to deliver customer-focused services while contributing to the savings it has to make, and has decided to recommend that the Libraries, Registration and Archives service is run by a charitable trust.
This would give the service more freedom and flexibility to grow and develop, generate additional income and seek additional grant funding not available to KCC.
There could also be greater community involvement with the service, as well as the benefits of a reduction in business rates and certain VAT exclusions.
Under the proposals KCC would remain accountable for the Libraries, Registration and Archives service and would contract with the charitable trust to continue to provide the existing services to all Kent residents, with free access to books and ICT facilities, while also maintaining the historic archives.
However, KCC stressed that no firm decision had yet been taken, and the results of the public consultation would be fully taken into account.