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Library charges: Harlow’s county councillor secures success at first meeting

Education / Wed 15th May 2024 at 07:15am

AT the full council meeting of Essex County Council today, County Councillor Andrew Johnson secured the first question to cabinet members of the Civic year.

Newly elected County Councillor Andrew Johnson asked a formal question to Cllr Mark Durham the Cabinet Member for Arts, Heritage and Culture, in his capacity of the lead member for libraries, on behalf of all four Harlow County Councillors

Cllr Andrew Johnson questioned Cllr Durham on his recent Cabinet Member Action published last week, as part of improving and streamlining library provision across the county. The Cabinet Member had considered charging a reservation fee to help reduce the wastage of 26% of items being reserved and moved to specific libraries not being collected.

However following comments from Cllr Johnson and his Harlow colleagues, among others, the Cabinet member has decided to not proceed with the decision in it’s current form and to revisit how the council minimises the negative impacts of reservations that are not collected.

Cllr Durham said: 

“I am confident that our new plan will alleviate this issue without unduly impacting the genuine users. We cannot continue to allow all taxpayers to bear the burden created by a minority.”

Cllr Andrew Johnson said:

“We definitely need to reduce the financial and environmental cost of moving over 100,000 items around the county for them not to be collected but I am pleased that Cllr Durham has agreed with Cllrs Hardware, Souter, Garnett and myself that a proposal to charge a reservation fee on every item should not be made. Thank you to Cllr Durham for being so willing to listen to our views on behalf of the people of Harlow.”

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11 Comments for Library charges: Harlow’s county councillor secures success at first meeting:

Trace
2024-05-15 08:09:27

Andrew, what's happening with Cllr Leppard? Radio silence from Dan Swords including not responding to email, perhaps you've the decency to update the good people in Harlow instead? We all voted you in, don't forget that please!

Ella
2024-05-15 10:11:03

The library reservation service is a wonderful feature. As a former library staff memeber in Harlow, it is so lovely to see children coming in excited for their next book in a series, on the flip side the many book that are not collected does create longer waiting lists for genuine readers. Perhaps have a fee if the book is not collected after the two week reservation hold period? This would impact the smaller Harlow libraries who have a three week hold period given they are not open every day.

Steve
2024-05-15 11:40:56

Dan Swords , it seems does not answer emails if he doesn't like the question. Speaking from experience.

Catherine Bilsland
2024-05-15 12:30:23

James leppard is also guilty of that don’t answer his phone or emails

Nostradamus
2024-05-15 15:55:38

Councillors for Church Langley North and South have already announced they are stopping the regular monthly ward meetings and because it seems they are combining meetings this is at least a 50% cut and at most 150% cut. None seem keen to answer questions sent to them by email or other systems like Messenger. Think they might be ducking out whilst chickens of pre election decisions and unrealised promises come home to roost. A fowl prospect.

Gary Roberts
2024-05-15 16:45:05

The electorate in Church Langley South and Potter Street had the option for change and decided to keep the status quo. Meaning more of the same nonsense. Potter Street will be just an inconvenience for the councillors. Never mind, eh.

Cllr Nicky purse
2024-05-15 19:52:33

Just for clarification the Church Langley and Potter Street neighbourhood meeting has not been cancelled. No announcement has been made regarding the meetings apart from they now are held every two months. If you wish to submit a question ahead of the meeting please do so by the preferred option which is Cllrs email which can be found on Harlow Council website. Next meeting is the first Tuesday of June.

Joseph
2024-05-15 21:13:00

Make it a deposit instead of a charge. When the book is collected you get the money back. If you take more than X amount of time you loose your deposit.

Stu
2024-05-17 14:23:18

Books? I spend my money on proper stuff like CO2 cannisters and babestation.

Trace
2024-05-17 22:21:24

Stu, sadly true for a few!

David Forman
2024-05-21 13:59:38

A good move by councillor Johnson. No doubt Harlow Conservatives will have a greater focus on County matters after getting caught short over the new PAH hospital.

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