Agenda and minutes

Libraries Strategy Review, Joint Overview Committee - Wednesday, 29th June, 2022 10.00 am

Venue: Council Chamber, County Hall, Dorchester, DT1 1XJ. View directions

Contact: Lindsey Watson or George Dare  01305 252209 or 224185 Email: or Email:


No. Item


Appointment of Chairman for the meeting

To appoint a Chairman for the meeting.


It was proposed by C Jones seconded by S Jespersen




That M Parkes be appointed as Chairman for the meeting of the committee.


Declarations of Interest

To disclose any pecuniary, other registrable or non-registrable interests as set out in the adopted Code of Conduct.  In making their disclosure councillors are asked to state the agenda item, the nature of the interest and any action they propose to take as part of their declaration.


If required, further advice should be sought from the Monitoring Officer in advance of the meeting.


There were no declarations of interest.


Public Participation

Representatives of town or parish councils and members of the public who live, work or represent an organisation within the Dorset Council area are welcome to submit up to two questions or two statements for each meeting.  Alternatively, you could submit one question and one statement for each meeting.  


All submissions must be emailed in full to by 8.30am on 24 June 2022.   


When submitting your question(s) and/or statement(s) please note that: 


·         no more than three minutes will be allowed for any one question or statement to be asked/read  

·         a question may include a short pre-amble to set the context and this will be included within the three minute period 

·         please note that sub divided questions count towards your total of two 

·         when submitting a question please indicate who the question is for (e.g. the name of the committee or Portfolio Holder) 

·         Include your name, address and contact details.  Only your name will be published but we may need your other details to contact you about your question or statement in advance of the meeting. 

·         questions and statements received in line with the council’s rules for public participation will be published as a supplement to the agenda 

·         all questions, statements and responses will be published in full within the minutes of the meeting.


Dorset Council Constitution Procedure Rule 9


There were no questions or statements from members of the public or local organisations.


Questions from Members

To receive questions submitted by councillors.  


Councillors can submit up to two valid questions at each meeting and sub divided questions count towards this total.   Questions and statements received will be published as a supplement to the agenda and all questions, statements and responses will be published in full within the minutes of the meeting. 


The submissions must be emailed in full to by 8.30am on 24 June 2022. 


Dorset Council Constitution – Procedure Rule 13


There were no questions from councillors.


Library Strategy Development pdf icon PDF 325 KB

To consider a report of the Service Manager for Libraries.

Additional documents:


The committee received and considered a report of the Service Manager for Libraries, with regard to the development of a Library Strategy for Dorset Council.  In addition, a presentation was provided to the committee, which gave an overview of the strategy development process and headline findings to date.


The Portfolio Holder for Culture, Customer and Community Services noted that when a new library strategy was adopted (anticipated in Spring 2023), a short public facing summary (a strategy on one page) would also be produced to ensure accessibility.


The committee considered the issues arising from the report and during discussion, the following areas were covered:


·            The need for flexibility in the way services could be provided

·            Discussion around the information included in the Strategic Needs Assessment and the suggestion to weight different categories of need

·            There was a need to understand what the core library offer was and how the assessment of need would affect the services to be provided at a location

·            The next phase of consultation would help to shape future services and explore the core library offer.  It was recognised that there could be different approaches for different areas

·            Reference to the creation of customer access points within libraries for provision of wider council information

·            How libraries linked to and worked with the family and community hubs agenda

·            How libraries could attract more children and younger people, including work through schools and youth centres

·            The need to update service marketing to present a modern library service and set out what it could offer to communities, helping the service to engage with the widest range of people possible

·            Library workforce development was considered including career development and progression within the service and the Council, apprenticeships and development of specialisms and use of the kickstart programme as an inclusive employer

·            Links with the council’s review of assets

·            Links with Dorset Council’s best start in life priority and proposals for Adult Care

·            Further understanding would be gained from public, partners and employees as part of the phase 2 Let’s Talk Libraries consultation

·            The need for continued wide engagement during the second consultation phase including library users and non-users.


The Chairman thanked officers for their work in this area.




That the Joint Overview Committee:


1.    Notes strong engagement and consultation with our communities during our phase one consultation, involving residents, partners, businesses, Councillors, our workforce and all council services. (Appendix 2, 3, 4, 5)


2.    Recognise the benefits of having worked together to co-create our draft strategy by listening to views and feedback in addition to reflecting on community needs.


3.    Supports and agrees that the draft library strategy and accompanying Strategic Needs Assessment and Equalities Impact Assessment are publicly consulted on, as part of the phase two Let’s Talk Libraries consultation. (Appendix 1, 6 & 7) 


4.    Supports and agrees with our strategy mission to “inspire, connect and enable our communities through our services”; strengthening our service to provide modern, sustainable and inclusive access to our services that are relevant, make  ...  view the full minutes text for item 5.


Urgent Items

To consider any items of business which the Chairman has had prior notification and considers to be urgent pursuant to section 100B (4) b) of the Local Government Act 1972.  The reason for the urgency shall be recorded in the minutes.


There were no urgent items.


Exempt Business

To move the exclusion of the press and the public for the following item in view of the likely disclosure of exempt information within the meaning of paragraph x of schedule 12 A to the Local Government Act 1972 (as amended).


The public and the press will be asked to leave the meeting whilst the item of business is considered.


There is no exempt business.


There was no exempt business.