Fourteen staff to go from Southend’s libraries

Following on from questions asked at full council last Thursday I have been copied the official responses.

Questions were asked about job losses arising from the changes to the library service in the borough of Southend-on-Sea.

There will a reduction of approximately fourteen staff. These are part-time positions, and so are being described as six to seven full time equivalent employees. The smaller the number, the less the pain (or so it is supposed); call it spin if you care to.

It is not clear whether these fourteen staff will go unto the scrapheap (i.e. made unemployed) or whether it is intended to absorb them into another council department. Since large cuts are to be made again this year I expect the worse.

Cllr Ted Lewin (Liberal Democrat, St Laurence) asked the question, and then proceeded to support the Conservative proposals.

I was surprised to discover that there have not been any full-time professional librarians in the Branch Libraries since 1992.

The response also included this: Under the proposals Leigh, Kent Elms and Delaware Libraries will have Southend-on-Sea Borough Council paid and fully trained library staff working in them.

So, adieu to Southchurch, Friars, Thorpedene and Westcliff. Although plans are for those whose future is not guaranteed is of them being community run I think this will at least mean a vastly reduced service, and closure is a grim, but very real, prospect.

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3 Responses to Fourteen staff to go from Southend’s libraries

  1. David Glover. Secretary. RAW 2012. says:

    RAW Chairman Brenda Smith and I spoke to staff at Westcliff Library on Friday 00/11/13.

    Going from memory; I understand that full time library staff were reduced to part time around 2012 when the automated loan system was introduced.
    Going from memory; I understand that full time library staff hours were compulsorily reduced by about a quarter at said time (39 hours cut to 30 hours).
    Going from memory; I understand there are four part time staff at Westcliff comprising of a manager, an assistant manager and two others.
    Going from memory; Library staff will be offered a place on the waiting list (if they are interested) for other council department vacancies.

    We believe the 1992 date in incorrect and should be 2012.

    It looks like our treasured Westcliff librarians will be replaced by Scabs.

  2. David Glover. Secretary. RAW 2012. says:

    Addendum. We visited Westcliff Library on Friday 22/11/13.

  3. Alan Grubb says:

    Why do you think that both of the libraries in Leigh have been saved?

    Answer: The Leader of the council is a Leigh resedent and the other seat in Leigh is also a con Councillor.

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