Wednesday, April 06, 2016

Walcot's Fantastic Fiction Section

Councillor Ex-Councillor Mallinson has once again flown the flag for 'his' hardworking volunteers at the Walcot Library after I.T. problems recently.

Once again councillor ex-councillor Mr Mallinson has said how amazing 'his' volunteers are, while twisting the knife into the libraries and blaming them for the I.T. problems. As anyone who has gone near Swindon Borough Council in the last 9 years will know (such as councillors ex-councillors), SBC signed a massive contract with Capita back in 2007 (signed by SBC while councillor ex-councillor Mallinson was a councillor), which included I.T. provision and support. The fact the I.T. has just come back in-house will give you an idea why 'Crapita' was a frequent word uttered around SBC regarding the quality of service, especially around I.T. 

Councillor Ex-councillor Mallinson also blames the libraries for lack of support for 'his' volunteers (despite the brand-new building that the library and charity shop 'he' runs now exists in as part of the Sussex Square rebuilding). A new building is certainly anything but a lack of support. He also makes no mention of the SBC library staffed hours that Walcot is provided with during some of it's opening hours. 

The views of Councillor ex-councillor Mallinson regarding 'his' volunteers taking over fully at Walcot, which he clearly wants in the future as he sees the library service as an inconvenience in the current discussion, is interesting when seen in relation to Old Town Library. The campaigners for Old Town Library have made it very clear they want to retain their library with paid staff in it, despite Councillor ex-councillor Mallinson extolling the virtues of volunteers back in 2010.

Even more interesting, is that Old Town Library costs the least per hour of operation compared to any other Swindon library (as can be seen for each library here, appendix 1 to be specific).

So a combination of staff and volunteers at Walcot library (open 19 hours a week), costs more per hour open, than Old Town library (open 36 hours a week) which is fully staffed all the time.

And back in 2010, Councillor ex-councillor Mallinson didn't seem too bothered about cutting his own library's opening hours when he didn't have enough volunteers to man it. 

Be interesting what the few regulars at Walcot made of finding that it was shut because no-one turned up to open it.

Rest assured that if our town's libraries do end up being fully volunteer run (which Swindoncentric finds not only insulting to the idea of building the town's knowledge, intellect and confidence, but also a scary dismantling of civic infrastructure), then at least those volunteers will be at the same level of skill as Swindon's councillors (and ex-councillors)... untrained and unskilled.


libraryuser1 said...

Is your point about cost per hour correct? Appendix 1 states that Walcot library's cost per hour is £16.14 and Old Town Library's is £21.04.

Swindoncentric said...

But the summary box for Old Town states it is the lowest cost per hour open.