Issue details

19/00012 - Adoption of a three-year Libraries, Registration and Archives Strategy

Adoption of a three-year Libraries, Registration and Archives Strategy.




A new draft three-year strategy has been developed for the Libraries, Registration and Archive (LRA) service.


The Libraries, Registration and Archives Service (LRA) is a statutory and highly valued public service delivered through a network of 99 libraries, 5 Register Offices; 5 mobile libraries; an archive centre; the stock distribution and support function building at Quarrywood; the information service - ‘Ask a Kent Librarian’ - as well as the 24-hour accessible online services.


Kent County Council along with all local authorities is facing a period of unprecedented financial pressure which demands continued and sustained innovation, change and focus on positive outcomes from all services.


Alongside these financial pressures, LRA has evolved its services and now needs to continue to respond to significant changes in demography, spatial geography, how people want to access services and their expectations of those services, technology and varying levels of IT literacy. 


The draft strategy proposes how LRA will create an evolving and sustainable LRA service for the future including proposals for a new Library tiering model and revised opening hours


The full financial, legal and equalities implications will be detailed in the decision paper.

Decision type: Key

Reason Key: Affects more than two Electoral Divisions;

Decision status: Recommendations Approved

Division affected: (All Division);

Notice of proposed decision first published: 21/01/2019

Decision due: Not before 8th Mar 2019 by Cabinet Member for Community and Regulatory Services
Reason: In order that the proposed decision can be published for a minimum of 28 days, in accordance with statutory requirements and to allow for Cabinet Committee Consideration in March 2019

Lead member: Cabinet Member for Community and Regulatory Services

Lead director: Barbara Cooper

Department: Growth, Environment & Transport

Contact: James Pearson, Service Improvement Programme Manager 03000414923 Email:


The draft strategy and proposals for public consultation were discussed and noted by Members of the Growth, Economic Development and Communities Cabinet Committee on 15 November 2018.


The consultation ran from 21 November 2018 to 29 January 2019.


Copies of the draft strategy, the consultation document providing details on the tiering proposals, questionnaire, an easy-read version and a copy of the Equality Impact Assessments were available in all of our buildings as well as Gateways and online. During the consultation period the Service held twenty drop-in events at libraries across the county at different times and days for people to come and find out more and talk to staff about the proposals.


The proposed decision was considered and endorsed by Members of the  Growth Economic Development and Communities Cabinet Committee on 7 March 2019.


Financial implications: The estimated revenue savings to the Libraries, Registration and Archives budget from the strategy is £960k.

Legal implications: KCC has a statutory obligation “to provide a comprehensive and efficient library service for all persons desiring to make use thereof” (s7 Public Libraries and Museums Act 1964).

Equalities implications: Equality Impact Assessments (EqIA) were completed prior to consultation for the strategy and the tiering proposal. They have now been updated as a result of feedback from the public consultation. The revised EqIAs are included as Appendix E&F. The key feedback from the consultation has highlighted the potential impacts of reduced hours on all protected characteristic groups, and particularly the young, older people, people with disabilities, and carers.


Agenda items