Lincolnshire libraries may be put out to tender after firm’s bid

Charitable social enterprise Greenwich Leisure Limited (GLL) has put forward a proposal to run the libraries in the county on behalf of Lincolnshire County Council.

Nick Worth, the Executive Member for Libraries at County Council, has been recommended to formally accept an expression of interest from the organisation which was ignored before the council’s decision was challenged in a judicial review.

Following this approach, a bid could now be invited for the running of library services.

GLL put in its interest during a public consultation and its proposal has now been reviewed against the criteria in the authority’s Community Right to Challenge scheme, which it met.

The scheme allows certain groups to ask permission to assist with or deliver services for the County Council.

Officers have recommended that Cllr Nick Worth formally accepts GLL’s expression at a meeting on December 3.

Tony McGinty from the Community Right to Challenge Panel said: “If the panel’s recommendation is approved and GLL’s expression of interest is accepted as valid, the council will need to carry out a procurement exercise, which will probably lead to library services being put out to tender.

“However, before that happens, the council’s executive would still need to consider what kind of shape future library services should take. We expect that to happen in February 2015.

“This will not necessarily be the type of model that would be favoured by GLL, and it would need to take into account the feedback received during consultation.

“Only after that discussion has happened would we invite people to put forward their bids.

“Because of the work involved in a tender process, it is likely to be at least a year before a final decision is reached.”