Bath and North East Somerset Council has published the results of recent consultations, along with a Question and Answer document detailing its aspirations to integrate its library and One-Stop-Shop services in Bath and Midsomer Norton.
The report shows more than 600 responses were received regarding the proposals, which have caused controversy in Bath city centre.
The Council’s vision is a combined service, which gives people convenient access to a wide range of useful services in one place, including libraries, customer services and the services provided by partner organisations, in a well-designed, modern space, supported by high-speed Wi-Fi and up-to-date PCs and technology.
The Council says that no decisions on the final outcome have yet been made.
Survey forms were available online and printed copies were available from libraries and One-Stop-Shops in Bath and Midsomer Norton for members of the public to complete.
The results show that people would like services which focus primarily on young families, events, a wide selection of books and new technology. There is also a desire for Council customer services and other partners.
A spokesperson for Bath and North East Somerset Council said: “We know people feel very passionately about their library services and we are listening to all the feedback we have received so far, and will continue to listen throughout this process. We welcome the responses we have received to these consultations, which focused on the design and layout of combined libraries and One-Stop-Shop facilities.
“We know that bringing these services together can work really well, as we have already achieved this in Keynsham, where the number of active library users has increased, bucking the national downward trend.”
The Council says that no decisions have been made and will not be made until after all of the consultations have been completed. “Feedback will be fully listened to and considered by the Council’s Cabinet. Local people have recently been consulted on the proposals for integrating the overlapping customer facing services of our libraries and One Stop Shops in Bath and Midsomer Norton. There are no plans to close either library.”
Over the summer, the Council will publish a summary of the business case with options for design, layout and location for the library in central Bath and this will be subject to further consultation and engagement with users and the wider community. The final design will depend on a full needs analysis as part of the business case.
The Council is reviewing the results of the consultation for Midsomer Norton, before taking any further steps.
To find out more about the proposals and to view the results of the consultation visit: www.bathnes.gov.uk/modernlibrary
Printed copies of the Question and Answer document are available in Bath and Midsomer Norton libraries and One Stop Shops.