Posted by: westlancashirerecord | January 19, 2018

Cabinet Agrees New Library, Museums And Archives Loan Charges

By use of such farcical excuses as “we couldn’t continue to absorb costs” and “ increases consistent with those introduced by other councils across the country” the Lancashire County Council’s cabinet has agreed to increase fees and charges in libraries, museums and archives at its meeting held on Thursday 18 January. They tell us that library reservation fees have not been increased since 2005, some 13 years ago, and fines have not risen since 2012. Charges for the archives service were last reviewed in 2016, and those for the museums service in 2013.

So what makes the LCC think everyone who uses the libraries can absorb increases, often those on the lowest incomes ? What has consistency across the country got to do with ability to pay in Lancashire compared with the south east and other richer areas?

Cabinet has agreed to increase the costs for: • The library reservation fee • The late return of library books • The commission on artwork and crafts sold in libraries and museums • Admission charges to Gawthorpe Hall • The charge for a copy of an archive probate record. It has also been agreed to introduce a new handling charge for requests to provide copies of archives from outside the UK.

County Councillor Peter Buckley, Lancashire County Council’s cabinet member for community and cultural services, said “The county council’s financial position means that we have to review our charges from time to time. We hadn’t increased these charges for a while, and although we would prefer not to have to, this situation had to be addressed. It was agreed that we couldn’t continue to absorb these costs. The increases are consistent with those that have already been introduced by other councils across the country. Although charges are never popular, this decision was necessary in order to reduce the pressure on the council’s finances and help to meet our priority of continuing to protect services for our most vulnerable people”.

I suppose you have all realised LCC has managed to keep on absorbing the costs to tax payers of the 33 Tory county councillors who receive special responsibility allowances for services unknown to anyone but themselves and the party whips?


Responses

  1. I don’t quibble with library fees and charges increasing. I do quibble (no more than quibble) with the fat cat councillors and senior execs.

    • How long did it take them to cost out a few measly items like library fees aimed at a few residents when surely it is easier to make a much smaller blanket increase for everybody to share? I’ve just read about Oxfordshire County Council who spent £12,690 on motivational speakers for staff conferences. Speakers included former British athlete Kris Akabusi and Rachel McGuinness who offers “sleep coaching for busy people”. Busy staff or councillors? What the hell next?

      • Oxfordshire are another council that clearly seem to have lost the plot.

      • From the LEP today…”A row has broken out over a claim that Lancashire’s interim education chief is being paid £1,125 a day at a time the County Council is being forced to make £11m in cuts. The claims came from the opposing Labour group as the post of the county council’s new Executive Director of Education and Children’s Services remains unfilled. Labour claims council chiefs have now decided under urgent business to pay £1,125 a day to an interim Executive Director for an undetermined period. It is understood the new interim boss starts next week. The disclosure came as the county council’s cabinet approved £11m of proposed cuts to go out to public consultation before a February meeting”. Read more at: https://www.lep.co.uk/news/row-over-1-000-a-day-lancashire-education-boss-1-8967892


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