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Decision details

Approval for changes to some Library and Leisure facilities operating and the suspension of the Mobile Library Service.

Decision Maker: Jessica Gibbons (Director - Communities and Neighbourhood Services)

Decision status: Recommendations Approved

Is Key decision?: No

Is subject to call in?: No

Decision:

This decision was made by David Redfern, Head of Service - Communities

That the leisure facilities listed in the report remain open in order to accommodate the education establishments who utilise them

That the Erlestoke Prison library service continues after the 5 November 2020


That:
Salisbury, Chippenham, Trowbridge, Warminster, Devizes libraries and the History Centre move from a browse model to an “order

Reasons for the decision:

This decision is being undertaken as a consequence of the new national restrictions arising from the covid-19 pandemic to maintain some limited access to services. This decision will be reported to the next meeting of the Cabinet.
Leisure facilities offering education settings
At present 9 leisure centres offer facilities to education settings as follows:
Managed In-House
•Amesbury Sports Centre (SC) – Currently open for, before and after school child care provision and the secondary school has space in the sports hall to deliver PE lessons
•Devizes SC – Secondary school have space in the sports hall and squash courts to deliver PE lessons
•Five Rivers Leisure Centre – Wiltshire College utilise space in the sports hall and gym for sports students
•Springfield Community Campus – Secondary school have space in the sports hall to deliver PE lesson
•Nadder SC– lease out space for a pre-school nursery
•Vale Community Campus – used by the neighbouring school for leisure sessions
This level of operation would likely require 12 staff to open and close the sites and be available during the day.
The total income from this arrangement is around £25k per term and would otherwise be lost if the facilities were completely closed.
During the first lockdown this arrangement was not required as education settings were closed.
Places Leisure Managed sites
•TAZ, Malmesbury SC - Secondary school have space in the sports hall to deliver PE lessons, currently not being used but may be required (income direct to Places Leisure)
•Warminster SC - Secondary school have space in the sports hall to deliver PE lessons, (income to the council)
•Lime Kiln, Wootton Bassett SC- Secondary school have space in the sports hall to deliver PE lessons (income direct to Places Leisure)
•Trowbridge SC - Secondary school have space in the sports hall, gymnasium and squash courts to deliver PE lessons (income to the council)
Places Leisure will cover the associated staffing costs for the sites. The exception to this is that the council will offset the cost of Places staffing at Warminster from any income gained, should the school wish to use the facilities.
During the first lockdown this arrangement was not required as education settings were closed.
Erlestoke Prison Library Service
A contracted service to Erlestoke Prison is delivered by Wiltshire Library staff. Since May we have been delivering a council risk assessed non-contact service in line with HMPS permissions.
There are two staff required to operate the service, but only one is in the prison library at any one time.
The service has seen a significant increase in its usage since March due to inmates spending a lot more time in their cells and has been highly commended by a recent HMPS inspection.
Libraries
As per MHCLG guidance, libraries can move into an “Order and Collect” model of delivery during this lockdown.
The following libraries would move from the current browsing model (open access) to” Order and Collect”:
•Salisbury
•Chippenham
•Trowbridge
•Warminster
•Devizes
•Wiltshire and Swindon History Centre
In order to do so, they would need to close temporarily on Thursday 5 November 2020 to change layouts, deliver staff training and arrange for the new Order and Collect model starting on Monday 9 November 2020.
The following libraries would continue with the current Order and Collect model already in place:
•Calne
•Royal Wootton Bassett
•Melksham
•Marlborough
•Malmesbury
•Amesbury
•Westbury
•Bradford on Avon
There is already a signed off risk assessment for the Order

Alternative options considered:

To not permit educational establishments access to sports facilities. This would adversely affect some schools and pupils who don’t have their own sporting facilities and would be unfair.
To not provide staff to run the Erlestoke Prison library. This would have a significant negative impact on the welfare and wellbeing of inmates who are spending longer in their cells than normal.
To not provide an “Order and Collect” service for libraries. This would mean that libraries would need to close on the 5th November, restricting access to learning materials and computers.
To continue with the mobile library service. The mobile library vehicles are a confined space and not appropriate to be operated in this way.

Conflict of Interest: Not applicable

Background: As the Head of Service for Communities, I (David Redfern) am responsible for any matters relating to Leisure and Libraries in the County of Wiltshire on behalf of Wiltshire Council. The power to decide in respect of this matter is delegated to the Director of Communities pursuant to Wiltshire Council’s Constitution and to me via the scheme of sub delegation.

Contact: David Redfern, Head of Service Communities Email: david.redfern@wiltshire.gov.uk.

Publication date: 12/11/2020

Date of decision: 04/11/2020

Accompanying Documents:

 

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