Review of children’s centres and libraries

We are committed to running children’s centre and library services. While the aim is to keep some level of library or children’s centre offer in every community, this has to be affordable within our reduced budgets.

Having made £500,000 savings in operating costs in 2017/18, we now have to find further savings of £175,000 in children’s centres and £260,000 in the library service over the next two years.

In order to meet these targets we are proposing some changes to a few of our children’s centres and libraries.

Children’s centre proposals

The proposals affect four children’s centre sites. In summary, they are:

Banwell – close or review the premises arrangements, remove permanent staff from site, but continue to provide some services

Yatton – reduced service and outreach services to be provided

Long Ashton – remodel the centre in order to extend nursery provision, which is currently oversubscribed with a waiting list, and provide outreach services

Pill – reduced service and outreach services to be provided.

In putting forward these proposals we have taken into account how much the centres are used alongside what is available in neighbouring areas.

Library service proposals

The proposals include relocating one or both of the libraries in Clevedon and Nailsea to smaller town centre premises or alternative shared facilities and increasing the opening hours, either in partnership with other service providers or by installing a self-service system. Community consultation will include an option to temporarily reduce opening hours (in line with current usage) to make sure services are delivered within budget and to allow time to find a long-term affordable solution for libraries in these communities.

Closing the library building in Long Ashton, replacing it with a mobile library service and a pick up/drop off point at a central village location, and developing an outreach programme to take regular activities into the community such as rhymetimes, storytimes, local history and author visits. Early discussions have begun with partners in the village.

A 12-week consultation on these proposals will start soon. Details will be posted here when the consultation begins.

Equality Impact Assessments

Full Equality Impact Assessments have been undertaken for all of the library and children’s centre proposals.