And now it’s the library’s turn

Once again we’re referring to last week’s Local Area Committee meeting.  In particular, the question that we raised about the library and the several months of building work that have just been started.  We asked why such extensive work was being carried out if, as the borough council wrote earlier this year: “Surrey County Council is looking to redevelop the current library site to bring the facilities up to date in a landmark building.  The space in front of the library will be landscaped alongside the redevelopment to create a fitting setting for this new addition.”

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Our question appeared to uncover two examples of poor communications within/by the ‘authorities’.  Firstly, we’ve just seen a comment by the county council: “While any disruption in service is a concern, the long term investment in this library will be of benefit to local residents.”   It seems – to us at least – that the borough council’s statement about a ‘landmark building’ does not convey that it is referring to a project that’s far into the future;  it won’t happen until the “long term investment” in the current building has passed its sell-by date.

Secondly, at the Local Area Committee meeting, events took an unexpected turn with what seemed to be quite heated criticism by various councillors.  It appeared that they felt that communication and publicity about the closure had been inadequate.  We noted that not all the local libraries had been alerted, so they had not anticipated the extra workload coming their way.  We were slightly surprised by this as the ‘social media’ had ‘flagged’ the closure quite extensively, and well in advance.  (It had been discussed so much that the Eye decided not to give the subject much coverage at the time.)

Our councils seemed to have got themselves into a bit of a muddle…..

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3 thoughts on “And now it’s the library’s turn

  1. Dea Camberley Eye,

    My wife worked at Camberley Library for 10 years and still has friends who work there. The staff were kept in the dark about what they would be doing until the week the closure was due to happen. Bearing in mind this would entail staff having to travel to other libraries for 2 months or so (let’s be kind and assume the work is completed on time, even though that is not the Council way) there was a great deal of uncertainty.This was made worse as some staff do not have their own transport and would be expected to make their way to their assigned library by public transport, even those with their own cars would have difficulties, read your car insurance policy about the strictures placed on cover for commuting to a single place of work.

    Best regards,

    Rob Thompson.

    >

    • Rob, many thanks for that information. The Eye tries very hard not to criticise the councils by default over everything. It’s too easy to be negative. But sometimes they do seem to richly deserve adverse comments.

  2. I would be pleased to be able to compliment rather than criticise the council but the opportunities are vanishingly rare and once again the handling of the library closure suggests incompetence and arrogance.

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