In December 2014 Enfield Council put forward proposals to alter the library provision in the borough. The aim was clearly cost-cutting, but it was labelled a 'development plan'.
There was a consultation period which satisfied the statutory requirements. However, there is no evidence that the results collected during this altered what the Council had intended to do all along. The documents associated with this can be viewed on the Council website.
The 'development plan' adopted would cause the 17 Enfield libraries all run by salaried staff being re-designated as four hub libraries and 13 'community libraries'. The community libraries were to be run by volunteers, whilst the hub libraries would continue to be run by salaried staff.
The main cost saving of the new library operation would be made through a dramatic reduction in the number of salaried staff, although this was never clarified to library users. Staff seemed to have been told not to discuss the proposals, so it was impossible to find out what was going on.
The community libraries were also be linked to a partner organisation which presumably would generate funds in exchange for joint usage of the library buildings.
The proposals were voted through by the Labour administration in March 2015 and implemented over the next 12 months from the start of the financial year.
Figures detailing the finances of the library service are not made readily available by the Council, and the merging of Libraries with Leisure Services has made it practically impossible for an outsider to discover how successful this has been in financial terms.
If you want to find out more about Enfield Libraries, please contact Michael Hardyman at firstname.lastname@example.org