Potential loss of ‘Cultural’ Public Amenities

This is an advance warning! For those of us who use and enjoy some of the Cultural/Arts services that are supplied by the Council, SBC have approved a recommendation that some of its community services be transferred from direct Council provision, to delivery via a charitable trust….They are looking to make a budget saving of about £400k, and the transfer will doubtless result in a deterioration if not cessation of some of these services, starting Autumn 2015. The services scoped for transfer include LIBRARIES and Information services, MUSEUMS & GALLERIES, Archives & Local History services, Arts Development, Heart of Hawick, PUBLIC HALLS and COMMUNITY CENTRES.
SBC have said “Transferring services to a Trust means we can secure the vast majority of the savings target from rates remission. If we keep the services within the Council the savings will have to be found from reducing what we do just now, closing facilities and streamlining management and backroom support. A Trust can be more demand-led, responsive to what customers & users want from the Services, more flexible and quicker at making decisions. A new board can bring new ideas, skills & experience to our work. In addition, by making the most of opportunities from fundraising and income generation, we will be better positioned to preserve the quality & reach of service in the face of any future budget cuts.” If you want more information on this, the officer responsible for it at SBC is Ian Brown, Cultural Services Manager.

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