After previously spending more than £284,000 on outside consultants to look at the Borough’s library service, Wirral Council is set to ask residents for their views and ideas instead.
Reports commissioned by the former Cabinet from private management consultants were never enacted, leaving the future plans for the service in doubt.
Consultants were brought in after Labour’s previous plans to close half the borough’s libraries led to a government-appointment inquiry, forcing the Town Hall to scrap the closure plans.
Now, the new Tourism, Communities, Culture and Leisure Committee has said that a strategy developed by council managers must go out for consultation with library groups, residents and potential library users in the future.
Chair of the Committee, Cllr. Tom Anderson (Conservative, Greasby Frankby & Irby Ward), said: “We went into the last elections saying we would not support reducing the number of libraries in our Borough and we are sticking to that. At the same time, the last thing we need is yet another glossy, expensive report by consultants.
“Imagine how many new books that £284,000 could have bought for our residents.
“While we must, of course, review council buildings and costs, we are also pledging that, unlike previous attempts, we will not reduce the library service. Instead, we will make our 22 libraries places where even more residents can use, learn and enjoy.”
“And, again, unlike previous reports, I want to make sure the views of those who use the service will take priority, while we also extend the outreach service and more use of digital services, including a suite of library touchpoints where books, digital services, activities and advice can be accessed.”