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Monday 1 February 2016

Brent Library Privatisation Ditched

One aspect of the Brent Council Budget papers of particular interest to me is the proposed spinning off of the service into some sort of trust or possibly to an independent contractor.  I thought it unlikely that this would yield a real saving, and that it might adversely affect performance (which has been exceptionally good since the Libraries Transformation Project was implemented).

It is therefore good news that Brent Council has apparently now realised that it will not work and ditched the idea in the latest budget.

Unfortunately, the financial saving budgeted for even though the hoped for mechanism, to reduce business rates via a tax avoidance scheme, has been abandoned as unworkable.  The current Cabinet has therefore come back to the position the previous one decided on back in 2012/13.  The savings target of £160k will now have to come from the running of the service.  It would have been far better if the Cabinet had been more realistic is assessing the likelihood of the saving back in 2014. 

Still, lets also welcome that news that the original proposal to reduce the Tricycle Theatre's grant to nothing has been abandoned.  I wonder where the counterbalancing saving for that will come from?

Finally, it is good to see that the Welsh Harp Education Centre has been saved, as I hoped

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