45% of library jobs axed

Southend Standard: Shake-up – councillor Derek Jarvis at a library Shake-up – councillor Derek Jarvis at a library

NEARLY half of Southend librarians are set to lose their jobs under a controversial shake-up.

The number of staff looks set to be cut from 25 to 14 after Friars and Thorpedene libraries in Shoebury close, Westcliff and Southchurch libraries are handed over to volunteers.

Some paid staff will also be axed from Kent Elms and Leigh libraries – amounting to 45 per cent of jobs going.

The branches have had no fulltime paid library staff since 1992, but the change in man hours is the equivalent of dropping from 14 to six or seven full-time staff.

Claire Wormald, secretary of the local government branch of Southend Unison, said: “I’m surprised job losses are so high.

“They have suggested Kent Elms and Leigh are going to keep paid staff, so I don’t knowhow it’s going to work.

“It’s really going to impact on communities and it shows those libraries left, which are supposed to be run by volunteers, aren’t going to be supported.”

The budget for the so-called “hub” libraries, which will retain paid staff, will be slashed by half, the Echo can reveal. Running Friars and Thorpedene, which are set to be replaced by a new hub in Delaware Road, Leigh and Kent Elms, cost the council £381,000 over the last financial year.

But the council has only put aside £200,000 for the hubs in future.

The council will begin working with people interested in volunteering in Westcliff, Southchurch, Kent Elms and Leigh next month, while at the same time paid staff start the redundancy process.

The council hopes to have the community libraries up and running by March 2016.

Derek Jarvis, councillor responsible for culture, said: “The staffing restructure proposals will be subject to consultation with both staff and trade unions.

“The council’s HR policies will be applied in an effort to minimise the number of compulsory redundancies.”

* A last-ditch bid to delay the changes to library services failed.

Labour, Independent and about half of the Lib Dem members voted to force the Tory cabinet to look again at its decision, but the vote at full council last Thursday was lost by 16 votes to 13.

Comments (6)

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6:10am Wed 18 Dec 13

SARFENDMAN says...

Hope SBC put all this in their recent application for Culture City Status.
Hope SBC put all this in their recent application for Culture City Status. SARFENDMAN

1:31pm Wed 18 Dec 13

Stamper2 says...

Well, that is what I pay my increasing Council Tax for!!!!

Where's the discount from the Council for ruining our library service?
Well, that is what I pay my increasing Council Tax for!!!! Where's the discount from the Council for ruining our library service? Stamper2

2:20pm Wed 18 Dec 13

Nebs says...

Do we really need three councillors per ward.
Do we really need three councillors per ward. Nebs

8:21pm Wed 18 Dec 13

max zorin says...

and the tories claim unemployment has fallen, i don't think so!
and the tories claim unemployment has fallen, i don't think so! max zorin

11:01am Thu 19 Dec 13

Cllr Julian Ware-Lane says...

The library vote was lost by 30 votes to 16 (not as reported above). Only two of the Liberal Democrats voted against – seven voted with the Tory administration as did one Independent councillor.

See here - http://warelane.word
press.com/2013/12/13
/so-close-and-yet-so
-far-away-a-night-of
-missed-opportunitie
s/
The library vote was lost by 30 votes to 16 (not as reported above). Only two of the Liberal Democrats voted against – seven voted with the Tory administration as did one Independent councillor. See here - http://warelane.word press.com/2013/12/13 /so-close-and-yet-so -far-away-a-night-of -missed-opportunitie s/ Cllr Julian Ware-Lane

4:33pm Thu 19 Dec 13

jolllyboy says...

I dont see what he has to smile about when he is losing people their jobs when they are needed. I expect he doesnt use the new forum - I dont - once was enough !
I dont see what he has to smile about when he is losing people their jobs when they are needed. I expect he doesnt use the new forum - I dont - once was enough ! jolllyboy

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