NINE of Liverpool’s libraries are to be used to deliver a new-look One Stop Shop service.
As part of the council’s budget proposals for 2021/22, it had been planned that £1.1 million be cut from the service’s budget, leaving just 18 staff working from four pop-up venues rather than eight fixed sites.
The financial cut was later reduced to £768,000 when the council passed its budget in March.
Now, following public consultation and discussions with trade unions, councillors and staff, a revised scheme has been approved which more than doubles the number of locations where face-to-face council services are available and maintains staffing numbers and secures jobs. The One Stop Shop model will also be developed into Customer Hubs with customers supported to access services online if possible.
It will see nine of the city’s libraries used, with two sites operating full time, and the other seven open either two or three days per week.
Full-time sites – Monday to Friday
Spellow Library (Kirkdale One Stop Shop building will be used until refurbishment work is completed)
Part-time sites – Two or three days per week
Old Swan Library
Norris Green Library
Lee Valley Library
Speke Library (Parklands)
To provide consistency, each of the part-time sites will be open on the same days each week.
The service will also give people the option of pre-booking appointments so they do not have to wait at any of the sites.
The opening of the sites will be phased and will start later this summer. The opening programme is dependent on government advice on the lifting of Covid restrictions.
Deputy Mayor and cabinet member for finance and resources Cllr Jane Corbett, said:
“This is really great news for our residents who don’t have easy access to a computer or a smartphone.
“Although many people now access our services online or through our telephone contact centre, there are still some residents who really value and need the face-to-face support of our customer staff to interact with the council.
“We have chosen nine sites across the city where we know the need is greatest and which can be accessed on public transport.
“Our libraries are a well-known and much loved valuable community resource, so using them to house our One Stop Shop services makes perfect sense, and some of them have already operated in this way for many years.
“We have been careful to plan this out so that the sites which are part time but geographically close are open on different days.”