Surrey County Council have now made it clear that their “Public Value Review” study was a sham designed to hide their real intent of abandoning most of the small libraries in Surrey to the whim of volunteers.
They have finally declared that they will only properly support 33 libraries and the remaining 19 libraries will have their staff funding removed. The additional libraries are: Ash, Caterham Hill, Frimley Green, Hersham, Horsley, Knaphill, Lightwater, Shepperton & West Byfleet.
The recent audit into the PVR study said there were 22 “quartiling errors” which apparently gives an error rate of 2.82% – and then goes on to list 29 other errors out of their “sample tests” on 91 calculations but fails to mention that this gives a 31% error rate. They consider that this level of error means “Some Improvement Needed”.
They also state that the errors do not significantly affect the results, but fail to mention that 3 out of the 13 libraries which should be selected are now excused – 23% are excluded but the PVR study fails to account for these exclusions.
Finally we discover that 19 libraries are threatened, but they bear almost no relationship at all to the bottom libraries “calculated” by the PVR study – which is clearly a deeply flawed farce. What almost all these libraries have in common is that they have the smallest number of borrowers – we didn’t need a “PVR” study to work that out.
Surrey County Council wish to wash their hands of almost all the small libraries in Surrey and this is their third attempt. Their first two attempts failed because there was a public outcry by the people of Surrey, so this time they invented a cheap and error ridden “number cruncher” to fool us into believing they were doing it mathematically.
We – and they – know their plans will not make any significant savings and the inevitable closures will cause serious harm to the economic and social life of the affected villages. We need to let Surrey County Council understand that their attempts to deliberately mislead the councillors and residents of Surrey are unacceptable and undemocratic – their constant claims to be “world class” are looking increasing sad.