Archive for October, 2011

Check the facts

Surrey County Council are threatening to close 10 small village libraries – and another 9 next year – despite these facts:

1)     The savings of £200,000pa have been reduced by £109,000pa by removing Molesey library.

2)     The PVR study costs (over £60,000) and internal training costs (originally £99,000) have not been included in these savings – but a speculative saving of £77,000 has been included.

3)     The Big Society justification was used purely because “The Big Society is currently a hot topic in the press“.

4)     The auditors found over 50 errors in the library PVR study even though only 10% of the calculations were checked.

5)     The “statistically insignificant” errors in the study caused Woking Library’s score to change by 42 million points and changed four of the the libraries in the bottom 11.

6)     No survey of library users has ever justified the PVR library plans – quite the reverse.

7)     Volunteer training is not now being done professionally, but is being left to internal staff – when they have time free from their normal duties.

8)     No resident in Surrey would willingly volunteer to assist Surrey County Council reduce the funding for their library – unless forced to because Surrey County Council are threatening to close the library.




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We have now discovered that Surrey County Council’s library study was wrong by over 42 million points in just one library – but their auditors describe the errors as “statistically insignificant”.

Other errors include a 1 million error in Ashford library’s score, Virginia Water’s library score has doubled, Molesey’s score has increased four times, 50% of the property costs are wrong and the error rate with their sampling tests is over 30% – but the auditors feel that a conclusion of “Some Improvement Needed” is justifiable.

We already know that the savings from the 10 threatened libraries are insignificant (0.01% of their budget) and their “Big Society” excuse was concocted.  Now we have clear proof that the library study results are simply nonsense – and the auditors tried to cover up the massive errors they found.

It should be noted that the auditors only tested 10% of the study – most of the study has never been checked, yet we already have ludicrously high errors.

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