Sent by email:
Date: 31st July 2019
Dear Ms Burnham and Ms Jacobson,
I am writing in response to your letter of 22 July 2019.
I want to start by stating that as the Executive Director of Children’s Services the library service is part of the responsibilities discharged to me. I want the best provision for the resources allocated by Members I am proud of what the library service has achieved in difficult circumstances and will seek to defend my staff and the service when they are challenged unfairly or inaccurately.
The review is an evaluation of the library service similar to any other service evaluation that the Council might choose to undertake. You will be aware that the decision to undertake the evaluation was a member decision and the results will be fed back to members. As an officer of the council, I am bound by the protocol for officer member relations, which confirms that an officer’s role is to provide support, information and advice to Members to help them perform their roles and it is the duty of officers to implement policies set by Members.
The revised scope will be documented in the committee minutes and, as explained at committee by those present, there will be a competitive procurement process carried out to select the organisation to deliver the review, this is now live on the Council’s portal using an ESPO framework. The Council Contract Procedural Rules are set out in the Council’s constitution and are available on the website. I will not be involved in the detail of the evaluation.
In relation to your concerns about equalities it is a matter for the Council to decide how to best comply with its equality duties; however the review of the libraries EIA will form part of the evaluation undertaken by the organisation selected through the procurement process.
Executive Director- Children’s Services.