Procurement begins for potential outsourcing of Lincolnshire libraries

Lincolnshire County Council will start a procurement exercise for the provision of libraries after social enterprise Greenwich Leisure Limited’s (GLL) bid was accepted.

As previously reported, GLL put forward a proposal to the Executive Member for Libraries at County Council, Councillor Nick Worth, to take on the libraries across Lincolnshire.

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.

Nick Worth accepted the proposal at a meeting on December 3, meaning other organisations can now put in bids to run the services.

Councillor Nick Worth, Executive Member for Libraries, said: “GLL’s expression of interest meets the criteria for a valid challenge, so the council is now required to carry out a procurement exercise.

“Services are likely to be put out to tender, which could result in libraries being outsourced.

“The next step is for the executive to decide what shape future library services should take, which we expect to happen in February.”

GLL has shown interest in Lincolnshire libraries since the county council announced plans to close 30 services in favour of community hubs in order to make yearly savings, worth almost £1 million.

However, a judicial review quashed the plans, describing them as flawed and failing to properly deal with the application by GLL.

GLL currently runs similar provisions in for two London boroughs, Greenwich and Woolwich.