Libraries

More views sought on libraries volunteer training

Users of the 10 Surrey libraries proposed as community partnerships are being asked about how volunteers should be trained to help, in particular, the young, the elderly and people with special needs.

Surrey County Council’s Cabinet will again consider plans to allow communities to run 10 libraries at a meeting in July, when councillors will look at all the work already done to develop a comprehensive equalities training package for volunteers.

They will also consider the findings of this further consultation, which is asking users of the 10 libraries to give their views about what equalities training should be provided for volunteers at community partnered libraries.

Library users are also being asked to give any other comments they have about the impact of the proposed changes on people with equalities issues.

Helyn Clack, Surrey County Council’s Cabinet Member for Community Services and the 2012 Games, said: “A lot of work has already been done to make sure community library volunteers receive the training they need to help people with disabilities and other special needs.

“We’re now doing another consultation to further enhance the training package we have created and I would urge the users of these libraries to give us their views.

“These 10 branches currently account for just 7% of all library use and have limited opening hours. They have huge potential which we want to fulfil and we’re asking communities to get more involved to help us do this.”

Copies of the latest consultation are being sent to members of the 10 libraries proposed as community partnerships, as well as to local empowerment boards.

ENDS

Media requiring more information can contact Surrey County Council senior media relations officer James Oxley at james.oxley@surreycc.gov.uk.

Notes to editors

Surrey County Council’s library plans are being considered again by the Cabinet after a judicial review upheld a challenge over the original decision-making process. The judge revoked that decision but did not criticise the policy itself.

Under the libraries plans, communities would take over the day to day running of 10 smaller libraries. The council would continue to provide everything else, including the building, the stock, computer equipment and the installation of free Wi-Fi in all its libraries.

The 10 libraries are: Bagshot, Bramley, Byfleet, Ewell Court, Lingfield, New Haw, Stoneleigh, Tattenhams, Virginia Water and Warlingham.

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