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Bexley and Bromley councils partner to out source library services

PUBLISHED: 16:22 27 March 2015 | UPDATED: 16:22 27 March 2015

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The two councils are conducting a 'soft marketing exercise' to scope interest from providers

Bexley and Bromley councils will work together in a joint procurement exercise to try and find external providers interested in running library services.

The ‘soft marketing exercise’ will seek to identify any potential partners which would provide the best possible value for the council’s.

Bexley Council cabinet member for community safety and leisure, Alex Sawyer, said: “Bexley and Bromley have operated successfully as a shared service since 2012. ‘Soft market testing’ is a way of seeking the best value approach to delivering these vital services that our residents value.

“Outsourcing would not mean services change, but an external provider may provide them, instead of them being directly provided by the Borough.”

“We are in the early stages of the process and the results of the market testing will be put to public consultation before any decision is taken.

Any contractor which was appointed would be fully accountable to the councils, which would retain the statutory duty to provide a public library service.

The ‘soft market testing’ exercise does not affect the current community management initiative to seek community groups to help run four of the Bexley borough’s libraries at Blackfen, Bostall, North Heath and Upper Belvedere.

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