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Plans set out for new Libraries Partnership Board

The latest meeting of the Warrington Libraries Working Group on Tuesday 26 September, saw the group agreeing recommendations for the establishment of a Public Libraries Partnership Board, which would drive forward the ongoing development of Warrington’s libraries service, once the work of the Working Group is completed.

Made up of representatives from the council, LiveWire, the third sector and Friends of Libraries representatives, the Partnership Board would carry out a number of key duties, including:

• overseeing the delivery of the modernisation proposals
• developing a new partnership strategy
• carrying out impact assessments for each proposal
• ensuring consultation and engagement with the public is effective
• leading on seeking external funding opportunities.

Having been agreed by the Working Group, the recommendations will be submitted for approval at a meeting of the council’s executive board in the near future.

Warrington Borough Council Chief Executive and Chair of the Libraries Working Group, Professor Steven Broomhead, said: “I’m pleased that the recommendation to establish a Partnership Board has been agreed by our Working Group and that this can now be put to the council’s executive board.

“Warrington’s Working Group has held extremely positive discussions over the past few months and made good progress. It’s important, once the final recommendations of the group are made, that we do not lose momentum and are able to move forward with our efforts to sustain and develop the future of our libraries service. A new partnership board would give us the focus and expertise to achieve that.”

At the meeting at Orford Jubilee Neighbourhood Hub, the Working Group also received reports on Warrington’s ‘libraries needs assessment’ – looking at demographics, communities, library usage and membership – and the equalities impact of the options being considered for libraries.

Members also heard about Warrington’s libraries delivery plan, laying out the overall vision, priorities and aspirations for the libraries service over the next five years.

The recommendations for a new Partnership Board mark the latest progress for the Working Group. Over the past six months, members of the group, officers from Warrington Borough Council and LiveWire and individual working groups, have been working together to explore a range of options to sustain, promote and develop library provision within communities.

The next public meeting of the Working Group takes place on Tuesday 17 October at 2pm at Warrington Town Hall.

Meeting papers can be found by visiting the council’s website and typing ‘Libraries Working Group’ into the search box.

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