Dear Mr Baker
Library Strategy to 2020
Please accept my apologies for the delay in replying to the online petition received by email on 21 March 2016 in response to the Library Strategy to 2020. I acknowledge receipt of the online petition signed by 119 confirmed residents across Hampshire concerned with the closure of their library or cuts to library services. I would also like to thank you for your recent letter dated 8 April 2016, but received on 25 April, in response to the approved Library Strategy to 2020. I acknowledge receipt of the petition signed by 136 Lyndhurst residents against the closure of the library. Some of signatures are excluded if they live outside of Hampshire. Details of all petitions are uploaded on the County Council Website â€“ see http://www3.hants.gov.uk/haveyoursay.
The pubic consultation, which closed on 16 January, has helped the Council to identify what is most important to library users and indeed to all Hampshire residents. A summary of the responses to the consultation and the analysis is available to the public on the County Council's website at http://www3.hants.gov.uk/councilmeetings, along with the decision report.
The published Library Service Strategy to 2020 means that libraries are placed into four tiers based on how busy they are, with the aim of providing a standardised approach to our services. Lyndhurst Library is in Tier 3 as one of the smallest libraries in Hampshire. The Decision Report confirms that no decisions will be taken on the future of Tier 3 libraries until the end of 2017. If changes are proposed to Lyndhurst Library or any other Tier 3 libraries, we will actively engage with local communities and organisations such as the Parish Council to seek views and explore ideas to maintain library services using volunteers before any decisions are made.
Thank you for taking the time to write to me and I appreciate the interest that you have expressed in the future Strategy for the Library Service.
Councillor Andrew Gibson
Executive Member for Culture, Recreation and Countryside