To answer any public questions.
A period of 30 minutes will be allowed for members of the public to ask questions submitted under notice.
The Council welcomes questions from members of the public about the work of this committee.
Subject to meeting certain timescales, questions can relate to general issues concerned with the work of the Committee or an item which is on the Agenda for this meeting. For full details of the procedure for submitting questions please contact the Democratic Services Section on the numbers given below or go to www.wokingham.gov.uk/publicquestions
In accordance with the agreed procedure the Chairman invited members of the public to submit questions.
Keith Malvern asked the Chairman the following question:
At the Executive at the end of March I asked a question about the early notice given confidentially to local members and? the Town Council about the proposed relocation of the library, and the lack of public consultation. The Executive agreed '...the proposal be publicised as soon as practical to enable feedback on these proposals and subsequently the design'. Two relevant things have happened since then - the proposal has been called in and the Council has proposed further plans for Phase 2 of the Carnival Pool site including the totally unexpected demolition and rebuild of the swimming pool. For this proposal there will be a series of engagement events for people to input into this process (the series of events is 2 3-hour sessions and comments need to be in by the 21st of May).
The Officer response to the call in under consultation attempts to convince us that there is no need for further consultation on the proposed relocation, even though the Executive had already agreed to do just that.
Can the Committee confirm that the Council's intention is to have a public consultation on the proposed library move?
On the 30th March 2017 the Executive took the following decision in relation to the Library service in Wokingham:
1. it be agreed in principle to relocate Wokingham Library to a new building on the Carnival Phase II site;
2. approval to relocate is subject to a full impact assessment and detailed business case being agreed by the Executive Member for Resident Services;
3. the proposal be publicised as soon as practical to enable feedback on these proposals and subsequently the design.
I understand that, following this meeting a timetable was published showing the range of engagement events that would be happening throughout May 2017 that relate to the proposed relocation of the library service. This includes specific events within Wokingham town centre, including the existing Wokingham Library building.
I also understand that, during this time, people can submit their views on any aspect of the proposed relocation of the library service and can speak directly to Council Officers to share their thoughts and to ask questions on any points they are not clear about.
In relation to your final point, the role of the Committee tonight is limited to reviewing the decision made by the Executive on 30th March.
In your response you say some interesting things about the timetable of events involving Wokingham Library. Your answer includes new information which I was not aware of from looking at local newspapers and the WBC website. Hopefully we are going to get clarification in Shute End as I have not been able to visit the Carnival Pool. I have seen the information boards in the Shute End Reception. From the new information available this evening, how serious is the list of events. What is going on?
I am not responsible for running the library service. However, the Committee will be taking evidence tonight from witnesses who are responsible for the service. This should provide answers to the points you raise.