Strikers and supporters (including two Bromley Labour councillors) outside Bromley central library
Greenwich Leisure’s deal with Conservative-controlled Bromley council to run the borough libraries has a contract value of £40,739,536 over a ten-year period – with an option for the company to run the service for a further five years.
The figures come in one of various reports to Bromley council committees from, and since, the decision to give the contract to Greenwich Leisure was made in 2017.
The deal negotiated by the self-styled ‘not for profit cultural and leisure social enterprise’ is in stark contrast to the highly controversial deal they did with Labour-controlled Lambeth council over the installation of a gym in the basement of the Carnegie library in Herne Hill where Lambeth spent £1.25 million installing the gym – and then gave Greenwich Leisure a five years free rental period.*
The Bromley figure has come to light following a strike by UNITE members over Greenwich Leisure’s running of the Bromley library service which began in JUNE. GLL and Unite are due to resume talks again on Friday morning.
Minutes of a Bromley council committee held in September this year state that: “as part of its tender position GLL proposed a three year strategy to review the staffing model it inherited. “This position is currently being reviewed and it is anticipated that GLL will soon be in a position to put forward for consultation its proposals for a new structure that will provide an appropriate staffing model……”
But when Bromley council announced the deal, an official press release headed ‘Library service future secured’ dated 20 July 2017 clearly states:
The decision to award the contract to Greenwich Leisure Limited follows a market testing exercise, with the specifications meaning that the successful provider would need to operate the existing library service, with the same number of libraries and existing staff.
Other points from the minutes of the September 2019 meeting include:
- 2.2 The contract is carefully monitored by the Library Client Team ensuring adherence to the contract and specification using a suite of contract specific Key Performance Indicators (KPIs). Financial sanctions are attached to non-compliance with the KPIs.
- 2.3 The Contract specification clearly sets out Bromley council’s requirements for the Library Service by identifying a series of outputs and minimum performance standards in relation to delivery of frontline and back office services, operational sustainability and facilities management. The approach used has ensured that the service is currently provided on a likefor-like basis with that previously in place
- 2.13 Following a month of industrial action, Council officers met with the GLL Managing Director, the GLL National Director of Libraries and other senior managers to discuss the dispute and its impact on the service and the plans that GLL had to seek a resolution in conjunction with Unite.
- 7.1 As part of its tender position GLL proposed a three year strategy to review the staffing model it inherited. This position is currently being reviewed and it is anticipated that GLL will soon be in a position to put forward for consultation its proposals for a new structure that will provide an appropriate staffing model to deliver the best service possible to library users.
- 3.16 There continues to be a statutory requirement for the Council to provide a comprehensive and efficient library service to all those who live, work or study within the Borough as described by the 1964 Public Libraries Act.
Source: Minutes of RENEWAL, RECREATION AND HOUSING POLICY DEVELOPMENT AND SCRUTINY SUB-COMMITTEE Date: Tuesday 3 September 2019
*Further reading (The following are just a small number of the stories News From Crystal Palace has posted on the subject. Please also search ‘Carnegie’ on this website – Ed):
LAMBETHWATCH – TREES FELLED AT CARNEGIE December 6, 2017
YOU COULDN’T MAKE IT UP……….FAKE LIBRARY NEWS FROM LAMBETH LABOUR September 4, 2017
OPINION – CARNEGIE LIBRARY HERNE HILL: “After 2022 a rent well below market value is being offered” August 17, 2017
CARNEGIE LIBRARY – VIEW FROM THE GALLERY February 9, 2017
Council closed libraries to cut costs, then spent more to guard them by Peter Walker The Guardian May 22nd 2016
Lambeth residents won’t back down on library plans – Lambeth UNISON website March 7th 2016
– December 21, 2017
Healthy outlook for Lambeth libraries 2 October 2015 ‘Love Lambeth’ (Lambeth council’s official website).