April 2011 e-newsletter

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In this issue:

Northfields Library

Image of Northfields library

All EFRA members should now be aware of the possible closure of Northfields library as a consequence of Ealing council's review of library services.

Over the past two weeks EFRA has distributed a leaflet to all residencies summarising reasons for keeping the library open.

  • Northfields Library is very well used by a wide range of local people.
  • The library is an integral part of the £2 million project to create a Children’s Centre incorporating the Log Cabin for children with disabilities, local Scouts and a nursery.
  • As it was refurbished at a cost of £610,000 in 2007, the library's closure would mean the expenditure was wasted.
  • The library is part of the overall plan for the adjacent Bramley Road Open Space, which is about to undergo a £200,000 re-development.

The leaflet can also be used as a window poster and can be downloaded from the EFRA web site.

It is important that as many residents as possible complete Ealing Council's survey as the results will be included in the report and recommendations to the council’s Cabinet.

EFRA encourages members to complete the on-line survey on the Ealing Council web site by Tuesday 3 May and also for under-19s to complete the children's survey.

There is also supporting information on the council web site providing figures on the usage and costs of each library within the borough. The costs per visitor and per book issue for Northfields library are £3.97 and £3.75 respectively, and the library is forecast to have 55,048 visitors in 2010/11.

Please also e-mail your opposition to:

Cllr Julian Bell, Council Leader – julian.bell@ealing.gov.uk
Cllr Kamaljit Dhindsa, Cabinet Member for Libraries – kamaljit.dhindsa@ealing.gov.uk 

The EFRA web site, www.efra.org.uk/library, provides further information on Ealing council’s proposals, and links to other organisations and on-line petitions.

Completing the survey

While completing the survey is straightforward, it starts with questions about volunteering and only later raises the subjects of reductions in the library service. The content of the survey will be clearer if you initially scan through to see all of the questions before starting to complete it.

We have summarised the main grouping of questions and suggest some aspects to consider.

Questions 1-10 ask for your views on the use of community and voluntary organisations to help run libraries, including the home library service. You may want to consider whether volunteers should be used to replace the small number of library staff or should be used only to provide additional services and skills.

Questions 11-14 cover four possible criteria in deciding how the council might decide to select a library for closure

  • Location - the proximity of residents to a library
  • Investment - the cost of modernising a library
  • The number of users of a library
  • The running costs per user of a library.

It is relevant that Northfields library is placed in the most cost-effective 50% of libraries based on its running costs per visitor and per book issue, and the library was modernised only four years ago.

Question 15 directly refers to Northfields library as one of four libraries, in addition to the mobile library service, that have been identified for closure. The four libraries are those with the lowest forecasted visits for 2010/11. However these libraries have limited opening hours compared to larger, busier libraries.

Question 16 covers reducing costs by reducing book stock and shortening opening hours. Northfields library currently opens four days each week, similarly to other smaller branch libraries.

Questions 17 to 24 ask about your use of the library service in the past 12 months.

In Question 26 you can enter any additional comments and suggestions.

What next?

Ealing Council will publish information about the results of the survey on its web site, and a report outlining recommendations will be presented to the council’s Cabinet in June 2011.

Bramley Road Open Space

Image of Bramley Road Open SpaceIn March Ealing Council published proposals for the landscaping of the gardens at the corner of Bramley Road and Northfield Avenue.

EFRA submitted comments on the scheme including suggesting some changes and improvements. The EFRA submission can be viewed on our web site.

EFRA Annual General Meeting

We will be holding our Annual General Meeting on Thursday 26 May 2011 at 7:30pm in the Log Cabin, 259 Northfields Avenue.

At the meeting we report on our activities over the past year. We usually have some of the Northfield Ward councillors and the Safer Neighbourhood Team in attendance.

The minutes from last year's AGM are on our web site.

Membership renewal

As we are coming to the start of a new membership year, from 1 May, we thank our members for their support and ask them to renew their membership. Membership is £2.00 for the first member at a residence and then £1.00 for each additional member.

Within the next few weeks we will be distributing a printed newsletter, which should have the name/address of your street representative on the front page. Membership subscriptions can be passed to the street rep, to any committee member, or directly to our membership administrator - Carla Andrewes, 24 Blondin Avenue.

Metropolitan Police Survey

The Metropolitan Police Service has launched a review into the different ways in which the public can contact the police and access its services, such as telephone, on-line and face-to-face methods, including via police stations and appointments.

As part of the review, the Metropolitan Police has launched an anonymous on-line survey. To have your say and influence the future of local policing in this area please take ten minutes to complete this survey by 27 May 2011.

Contact details

email: contact@efra.org.uk

web site: www.efra.org.uk/contact

Little Ealing history web site: littleealinghistory.org.uk/contact

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