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Www.hertsdirect.org Scrutiny Topic Group 27 February 2009 New Barnfield Mobile Library Services.

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www.hertsdirect .org Scrutiny Topic Group 27 February 2009 New Barnfield Mobile Library Services
Scrutiny Topic GroupDerek Knight:
Jean Holmes:
Staff who will be presenting information
Programme is a mixture of presentations,, broken by Q&A sessions with time to consider recommendations
Information already provided in Members pack – this will be referred to throughout presentations
Display in the meeting room
Visit to an Urban and Rural Mobile
Afternoon session: future issues
Refer to the detail in the Briefing Pack
Visit to an Urban and Rural Mobile
Hertford Heath and Panshanger
NB not mutually exclusive – eg CHM rural stops in BIS suburbs; HAM stops in St Albans
Afternoon session: challenges and options for change?
Does the service achieve what it sets out to deliver? i.e. service to disadvantaged groups and isolated communities
How should the value of this achievement be assessed? i.e. not comparable to static libraries
Are these priorities still relevant in the future?
Strategic direction needs to be clear in order to update the staff and vehicle resources required
Different from static libraries
Extensive county wide service
Popular with local residents
PLUS survey results ; personal service, part of the community in rural areas
Reviewed and reorganised in last five years
BV review: single staffing and route reorganisation
Different from static libraries
Complex and interconnected delivery system
Facing new challenges
Long lead in time for effective change
Lease expiry, vehicle specifications, driver training
Neil – responsibility for strategic development of service, staff recruitment processes, management of performance issues, development of Team Plan
Muriel – daily management of team at base and across county, training & development, programme of vehicle maintenance, overview of stock and health & safety issues
LADs – 13 assigned to a vehicle, 5 relief to provide cover and continuity of service (mention 2 relief vehicles)
Andrew – no public on vehicle – delivery only – different grade/JD
Mobile Services Assistants – part time H1 and H2/3 at base and H1 support in some libraries where based
Universal – support & connect with static services – geographically dispersed service – working to same standards as static libraries (stock, customer care, staff training)
Stock & Info – smaller selection of same formats and areas of stock for all age groups
Catalogue – access to stock info
Reservations – access to wider selection of stock within and outside county network
Gateway – to all of the above and more – information & other council services via hertsdirect, ethos of Hertfordshire local taking info into communities and to individuals
Weekly stops
Access for those who cannot get to static libraries
Longer stops
See map on display
Serve customers on shorter stops in urban locations
Fortnightly stops
More rural stops
Shorter stops
Greater mileage covered (refer to pack & lots of other interesting information about the vehicles)
Less frequent stops
Some urban based stops based on geography of nearest base and local need – cost effective eg Hitchin & will discuss more….
Recognisable livery – county brand – contribution to marketing strategy
Public transport
Replace ‘accessibility issues’ with ‘accessible stopping places’
Routes tidied up at last review – more geographically and economically viable – but still complex
Everyone assumes we can be flexible – but not always possible. Effect on other stops. Slippery slope of messy routes for historical reasons (Best Value)
Accessibility – customers often need local access, close to home – but not a personal delivery service – lots of neighbourhood stops (eg3 in 1 street removed at last review) – so now less v short stops
Access for vehicle – is the road wide enough? Where do we park? Can it turn and get out? Public ignore yellow boxes and cones (Hem & Warners End)
Public transport – often not helpful even in towns – Michele…
Distance from statics – as crow flies rule? – WGC egs – Michele…
Hitchin Mobile:
Explain ‘Route 6 and Route 3 – change bullet point insets
Rural and Urban – but rurals not just rural, and they have some urban stops & some longer than others like Urbans do… eg HAM in HAR, HAT & STA (quick decisions vs consultation and planning)
HRM Hertford Heath near to Hertford centre but rural
See leaflet and map in pack and explain those 2 routes
Targeted services
Community focus
Individual service
3406 members registered (Jan 09) 328 were Under 5s
Target those who are rurally isolated or less able to venture out to statics
Feedback – central to community life – contact, information, valued service
Individual – less readers at some short rural stops – but are they any less important at larger statistics at longer urban stops?
Already supporting independent living and trying to help create sustainable and fulfilling communities
218 stops on a three weekly route plan
More personal service
Home Library Service
Serve individuals or communities with more tailored service
CS mobiles smaller – stock geared towards older population, no children’s stock
Lifts – ease of access for those with disabilities
Housebound calls possible
Centres stock chosen by library staff according to needs of centres & their clients – delivery service only
Introduce ICT onto vehicles using mobile telephone technology
Longer stops for communities to increase access to ICT in line with corporate priorities, e-government principles and Framework for the Future
Provision of management data to measure take up of services in rural communities to help with HCC’s social inclusion agenda
Longer stops also improve chances of developing the service in other ways, eg more time for membership and welcome – less rushed
Visitor stats collated
2004/05 extend pilot to all vehicles
Route re-organisation
Internet access
Single staffing
This was all done
Route reorganisation led to more time to use IT as part of the service – not just a quick brown issue, but also time to access catalogue, reservations, info sources online
Single staffed but not isolated – phone technology, email contact, stock movement – can now do tasks on board not possible before
This is now – see typical counter – laptop & publicly visible screen
Reconfiguration of stops
Your Mobile Library consultation 2004 – mixed reaction from customers re need for or time to use IT on mobiles, especially on shorter stops. Staff need reliable access to IT functions
Best value recommended installation of OPACs – still not achieved due to standard connectivity at some locations
Future reconfiguration of stops – what do we need? How long do we stay? What IT is most appropriate or expected?
CHM pilot 3G modem card – router/laptop – better – extend pilot and monitor performance. Just this week realisation and support of IT that tech may need more frequent change – not just hardware wearing out but changes in Vodafone protocols that affect connectivity
Phone contact – Orbis Identisafe trial forthcoming on Urbans – need to find suitable technology for others instead of current Cybertrack phones
Reliability of service rests not only on our ability to turn up – staffing/vehicle problems – but also on the reliability of the service you can offer/ Image problems re system always down, income generation affected
What our customers think of the service
“ The mobile library is an essential part of village life and has been a wonderful service for me for more years than I care to remember ”
Public Library User Survey 2006
Read this
What our customers think of the service
“ As my husband is disabled we rely on the library which stops opposite our house. We use this facility every week…and the staff are very helpful and cheerful ”
Public Library User Survey 2006
What our customers think of the service
“ The man who looks after the mobile is a credit to you. He is helpful, polite and always cheerful. This is an excellent service that I have not been using for long – my kids love it too! ”
Public Library User Survey 2006
Customers are sensitive to change
Currently operating at full capacity
One change leads to others
Not always easy to be flexible
We should be able to respond to changing populations and local needs (Michele later…)
Drop in customers and increase in complaints after any review – valued service and custom vs business decisions and pressures – conflict
10 operating at full capacity – eg HAR day for community/promotional work now filling gap at Cun/Fle – yet more flexible for Ham to tak on t hose stops than SAT (more obvious choice really) and other customers would have been affected or cut
Some capacity to take on more stops on CSMs – work in progress
We need to change to meet future demands
Tension between flexibility to implement changes and resistance to change i.e. to create a new stop means not stopping somewhere else and the ‘domino’ effect on other stops on the same route
What we know is based on feedback, consultation, engagement, experience
It is by it’s very nature and structure a complex service
We are aware of changes that we both want and need to make but want the time to make informed long term decisions, whilst involving our customers and collaborating with all colleagues necessary (marketing, QPU, transport etc) to transform the service for the future.
Michele Murphy
Property Project Manager
Looking at factors which are affecting our capacity to deliver and develop the service.
Will look at social and demographic changes in the afternoon.
This presentation focussing on key issues that affect our capacity for change in the short term.
Looking at two major components of our resources - Staff and Vehicles
Long term appeal of lone working
Limited flexibility of staffing resources
Recruitment to Library Assistant/Driver posts can be difficult because the role combines two completely different skill sets. The post holder must be a competent and confident driver of large vehicles but must also have excellent customer care skills and be capable of delivering high quality library services.
As a lone worker they are working at a distance from the rest of their team. Back up is there but it is not the same as working alongside others and learning from everything that colleagues do.
Increased service disruption during periods of high levels of staff sickness and staff vacancies. Repeated disruption to service has a negative impact on visitor numbers and issue figures.
Higher than average levels of sickness absence as staff get no respite from public duty and need to feel 100% fit to work.
High turnover of Library Assistant/Driver staff. Staff transferring to other library service posts and other HCC departments have been motivated by the opportunity to work in a larger team. Lone working may appeal in the short to medium term to some people who then want to work in larger teams in the longer term.
We need to maintain a sufficient number of Relief LA/Ds (established members of staff) to maintain service delivery. Drafting in Agency staff at short notice does not resolve staff shortages in most instances.
“Acquired rights” to drive C1 category vehicles prior to 1997
Introduction of driver’s Certificate of Professional Competence
Explanation of acquired rights.
As time goes on there are fewer individuals eligible to drive up to 7.5t vehicles without undergoing expensive driver training (£1K?). Noticing this more every time we recruit.
CPC covered in more detail on next slides.
Legal requirement which will affect our Library Assistant/Drivers
35 hours training over five year period
Must have completed training by September 2014
Means starting training in September 2009
Continuous training
Must have completed their modules by September 2014
Training is continuous, therefore as soon as they complete their 35 hours of training, drivers must start refreshing the modules and do the whole process again.
(Bus and coach drivers [PSV] have already commenced their 5 year programme in Sept 2008)
Lots of uncertainty as to how the modules will be offered and what will be included at the moment.
Impact on service in order to release staff to undertake training programme
Drivers hours & tachographs – Includes Working Time Directive. We are tachograph exempt but have to complete and file official Driver Record sheets
Maintenance & Regulations – daily checks, speed limits, driving regulations, signs and speed restrictions.
Health and Safety – inc loading and risk assessments
Customer Service – billed as “soft skills” promoting good impression of company
Can do them in any order.
Affect on staff recruitment AND staff retention
Exact costs for CPC courses are not yet known but could be in the region of £75 per person per session. (£375 per person over 5 years but we have 18 staff so that’s £6,750 over 5 years if you assume no staff turnover. Will obviously be higher!)
All new recruits will have to do the modules unless they come with some of them already. Constant turnover = constant training costs
It might further reduce the pool of candidates that we can select from if people are put off the driver element of the job by the new regulations.
It might have a positive effect of making our staff feel more valued because it will help to address their learning needs with regard to driver training.
Our staff should be learning things that improve the way they do their job. Possible negative here regarding the fact that we are unlikely to be able offer tailor made courses for them due to the prohibitive expense. Therefore they will need to attend general courses designed for road haulage companies.
Lead-in period required for substantial changes to the existing fleet
Refer to lease information in briefing pack.
Suggest specific questions regarding leasing arrangements are kept for Alan Smith.
Penalty for early surrender of lease in region of £50K per vehicle
Process for building new vehicles takes time. Tender for contract, vehicle specification process and construction. (12 months? Check diaries or with Alan).
Only a handful of coach builders capable of delivering the standard of vehicles that we require. (Two Coachbuilders actively tendered for current fleet – Leicester Carriages and Keillors in Arbroath.)
What services? – Urban, rural and community services as now?
In the afternoon we will look at some more of the external factors likely to impact on our services. The service may need to change to respond to these issues.
What vehicles? – the characteristics of the vehicles that we need change depending on the nature of the service that we want to deliver. Legislation also has an impact. (eg if we want larger vehicles than we currently have, we need to employ drivers qualified to HGV standard – resource implications…)
Complexity of service delivery to target groups
Technical witnesses
Peter Shaw – IT Network Design
Visits to two Mobiles
Hertford Heath and Panshanger
Demographic changes
How well does the service perform?
Does the service reach target groups identified in the Best Value Review?
Is the service used and valued by local communities it serves?
How efficient is the current service delivery model?
How does the service compare to Mobile Libraries in other local authorities?
NB: Treat all figures with caution – lack of qualitative evidence
Does the service reach target groups (check BV review)?
Focussed on the 10 Mobile libraries
Issues and visits – comparable use - automated issues
Membership categories
How efficient is the current service delivery model?
unplanned closures
Cost per visit
How does the service compare to Mobile Libraries in other local authorities
Highlight charts
BVR concluded that
Longer stops for communities to increase access to IT in line with corporate priorities.
Increase use by the under fives in disadvantaged areas. This would be dependent on the capacity of the vehicle fleet after the route review.
Ensuring equality of provision to the communities served
Increased access to IT provision achieved for public catalogue introduced with new vehicle programme. Connectivity issues still current. Customer feedback from route change roadshows indicated that IT in rural stops was not a priority
Increased use by under 5s in disadvantages areas – not achieved due to lack of capacity after route review; also view from SLS was that this was not a priority service
CSV provide targeted service to elderly in residential homes
Need to add service to low income groups
Maintained service to most settlements in county
Maximised opening hours to public by reducing travelling time by 8%
Resources (vehicles and staff) used more effectively
Universal provision
Total Collection Management/ Flexible membership:
Membership is difficult to extract from usage figures but in January 2009
3,406 members registered at Mobiles
328 were under five
Large proportion of elderly users on Mobiles
Age profile of people surveyed in 5 Mobile Libraries
Community service vehicles aimed largely at 65+ population
75 +
Is the service used and valued by local communities it serves?
Customer satisfaction:
2006 PLUS survey – 84% satisfaction compared with 90% satisfaction for static libraries – but balanced with positive comments:
'Our Mobile Library service is fantastic. This is largely due to the librarian who makes us feel so welcome, is always cheerful and helpful'
'The Mobile library is an essential part of village life and has been a wonderful service for me for more years than I care to remember'
Route re-organisation complaints
xx says he is the only customer who uses the mobile in Wallington. The change of day from Wednesday to Friday is not convenient for him and he will no longer be able to use it.
Annoyed that we have changed the day that the mobile visits from Monday to Wednesday. She works on Wednesday.
Unhappy that the mobile is no longer stopping in Davis Crescent. Is able to walk to High Street but would not be able to carry the books as well.
Very concerned that the mobile would cause congestion outside the school now that the times of the visit have been changed to coincide with the children leaving the school at the end of the day.
Used to use the stop in Ryder Avenue which is no longer on the new schedule. She is unable to walk very far and is now unable to access other stops in Ickleford.
Perception of disproportionate change (overall good v individual and community need)
Visits per hour
High number of items borrowed per person especially on Rurals
Need to consider inclusion factor – (difficult to measure).
This may be only access to services for a small number of people
Anecdotal evidence of high mobility customers using Mobile service
Both may be using the same stop!
Unplanned closures
Lack of staff
Total hours lost
Four consecutive vacancies will not
Need to check percentage figures
Staffing costs
Compared with 33 County authorities, HCC has:
6th largest population
3rd smallest area
8th highest average weekly opening hours
Latest service changes
Surrey probably closest in demographic profile.
We know that the Number of mobiles in some authorities have been reduced very quickly in response to short term budget pressures. There is no qualitative measurement of the impact of these changes or whether they are effectively working
Key message: More vehicles in smaller area
Reliability is a concern
Further research is needed on:
Who uses the Mobile Library Service in Hertfordshire
Cost benefit analysis of the present service
The effectiveness of Mobile library services in other local authorities
Michele Murphy
Property Project Manager
During the morning we looked at some short to medium term issues affecting service provision.
This presentation looks at some of the medium to long term issues that we need to consider when planning the strategic direction of the mobile library service.
Also outlines how mobile services link to the objectives of the Sustainable Community Strategy
Community cohesion
Aiming to look at these areas and link our services to Sustainable Community Strategy.
Number of people aged 100 or over
2005 = 145
2055 = 2,030
Statistics provided by Community Information Unit (From Government Actuary Dept)
Ageing population
By 2025 number of people aged 75+ is predicted to increase from 82,000 to 116,000
Increase will vary across the county
North and East predicted to increase by 60%
Shorter term figures might be easier to imagine!
Source Sustainable Community Strategy (Hertfordshire 2021: A brighter future” 2008)
North and East Herts currently have very rural areas (though predicted housing developments West of Stevenage and North of Harlow may change this).
Ageing population
Credit the Community Information Unit for the production and use of this slide.
Their notes below:
Here's a breakdown from the latest ONS population projections by age for 2006 to 2031.
2031 Chart shows the increasing older population. Taking the 85+ age group the number of females is projected to double between 2006 and 2031, the number of males is projected to triple. Compare this to the 40-44 age group which are only to increase by 1.1% (males) and 2.7% (females).
2031 Chart
Source: Office for National Statistics, 2006-based population projections, published 12th June 2008. Crown copyright.
2031 Males
2031 Females
2006 Males
2006 Females
Age band
Males aged 0-19
Females aged 0-19
Males aged 60+
Females aged 60+
Projected percentages of younger and older persons 2006 to 2031
Figures may not sum due to rounding.
Copy data into this sheet and the remaining ones will update. Just need to change sheet names.
Figures may not sum due to rounding.
&LData is this profile is Crown Copyright and is reproduced under the terms of the Click-Use Licence.
Figures may not sum due to rounding.
This profile summarises the latest population estimates and population projections produced by the Office for National Statistics (ONS). Contents: Table 1. Population by sex and age band. Chart 1. Age pyramid. Table 2. Projected population change. Chart 2. Projected population change. The profile was originally prepared for publication on the Hertfordshire Observatory. The Observatory allows you to analyse data about the county, giving you a comprehensive and accurate picture of what’s happening in Hertfordshire. In doing this, you will then be able to plan and prioritise your resources allowing you to become more efficient and benefiting your customers and clients. Hertfordshire Observatory is operated by Hertfordshire County Council.
&LData is this profile is Crown Copyright and is reproduced under the terms of the Click-Use Licence.
This profile summarises the latest population estimates and population projections produced by the Office for National Statistics (ONS). Contents: Table 1. Population by sex and age band. Chart 1. Age pyramid. Table 2. Projected population change. Chart 2. Projected population change. The profile was originally prepared for publication on the Hertfordshire Observatory. The Observatory allows you to analyse data about the county, giving you a comprehensive and accurate picture of what’s happening in Hertfordshire. In doing this, you will then be able to plan and prioritise your resources allowing you to become more efficient and benefiting your customers and clients. Hertfordshire Observatory is operated by Hertfordshire County Council.
17.7% of households have no car
41.9% of households have one car
Public Transport in rural areas can be difficult to access
Nationally more journeys in rural areas are made on foot than by public transport
Problems not confined to rural areas. Lack of access to convenient bus services is also a problem in towns
Other motoring costs (eg parking fees) can prohibit visits to town centre facilities
Source: 2001 Census (Office for National Statistics)
Check the car ownership percentage figures across each district. Source for mode of transport statistics: ONS /Dept Transport Fact sheet 2007
18.8% Walk/cycle compared to 4.4% using public transport
Bus use is on the increase in Hertfordshire (impact of free & concessionary fares for elderly people). Source: Corporate Plan one year on
60% of users are satisfied with local bus service. Source: Environment Dept Service Plan 2007/10
Use example of Shoplands customer who finds it easier to get a bus to Panshanger rather than the Central Library in WGC due to the proximity of the bus stop.
Is this also SCS?
Decline of local services:
Continuing trend of fewer rural services eg banks, shops, post offices
Out of town retail parks impacting on rural and urban settlements
Communities sensitive to further reduction in local services
1968 – 1999
General stores in Herts halved
PO 60% - 32%
General stores 60% - 29.6%
“Hertfordshire’s Rural Communities Thirty Years On” HCC & Jed Griffiths, 1999
Hertfordshire population is estimated to increase by 18.4% by 2031
Increase will vary around county (Welwyn Hatfield 33.2%, North Herts 26%, Stevenage only 9.5%)
Pressure to provide additional housing to meet government and regional targets
West of Stevenage, North of Harlow
Need to provide access to local services for new developments
Source: ONS 2006 Population Projections (latest mid term figures available)
Community cohesion
Diverse communities:
Every part of Hertfordshire has its own mix of ethnic communities
Numerically significant groups identified in some areas
Economic migration means populations are liable to change
Can our service respond to the needs of these communities and change when required?
Examples of identified groups:
Pakistani Muslims in Watford, Indian Sikhs in Hitchin and Letchworth, Bangladeshis in St Albans or Turkish and Cypriot people in Broxbourne
Source: Diversity of Hertfordshire & Districts (CSF: Planning & Improvement Team)
Economic migration : significant increase in Polish community 2004 – 2008 (and other Eastern European countries) Source: Worker registrations
Impact of global recession???
It may even be more likely that it is those people from groups which are least concentrated in a particular area which suffer most from isolation, discrimination and hardship, and who are therefore in most need of support.
Source: Diversity of Hertfordshire & Districts (CSF: Planning & Improvement Team)
Safer and stronger communities
An ageing population
Health and wellbeing
Safer & Stronger Communities:
“Enable and support a range of diverse cultural activities which meet the needs of local people”
“Encourage communities and individuals to have a greater voice and participate in local decision making”
Our contribution:
Helping people to make informed choices generally.
Opportunity for us to seek views of community again about the way our services are delivered to them.
An Ageing Population:
“Help older people maintain their independence”
“Ensure older people have the opportunity to be active members of their community”
Our contribution:
Older people are not a uniform group and so targeted approaches are necessary (SCS)
Opportunity to work and enjoy lifelong learning.
Access to and enjoy leisure & cultural pursuits.
Health & wellbeing:
Our contribution:
Health & wellbeing: information to support informed choices (e.g. Books on Prescription)
Transport & Access:
“Reduce the need to travel by car & encourage use of alternative methods of transport”
“Improve access to services across the county”
Our contribution:
Sustaining Hertfordshire’s unique character and quality of life:
“Enhance the quality and distictiveness of our town centres and their range of local facilities, and ensure that our villages remain vibrant”
“Improve the efficiency, standard and connectivity of public services in Hertfordshire”
Our contribution:
Local services & facilities contribute to a sense of place and community
Opportunities for partnership working
Key questions to consider:
Service currently at capacity. How should we adapt in order to meet changing demands?
What is the right balance of universal services to communities and targeted services for individuals?
Number of settlements, frequency of visits. Could change these but need to be mindful of the impact this would have.
Footfall vs equality of access
Service for all age groups or specific services for particular groups?
Key questions to consider:
How could we work in partnership with others to enhance services?
What type of vehicles do we need to deliver the service effectively in the future?
Explore new opportunities through new ways of working. (e.g. Fire Service Smoke alarm campaign)
Potential partners? Police, Primary Care Trusts…???
Advantages for promotion of service
Reminder about need to custom build vehicles for the type of service we envisage. (Mention need for stable ICT platform).
Reliability of service is a concern
Service needs to respond to changing future demands
Sensitive to any change
Full capacity/ limited flexibility
Further research on future delivery
Who uses our present service
Different delivery options
Protection from future budget constraints?
No simple answers
Source: Office for National Statistics, 2006-based population projections, published 12th June 2008. Crown copyright.