Background to the proposals
Following a public consultation, the Council made a number of decisions in June 2017 about the future of library provision in Darlington. These included moving the Central Library from Crown Street to the Dolphin Centre, the closure of Cockerton Branch Library and stopping the Mobile Library Service.
After the decisions were made the Charities Commission confirmed that that the Crown Street building is held by the Council on trust (further details can be found on the Darlington Borough Council website). Since June, the design and service details of the library at the Dolphin Centre have been evolving. There was also a threatened legal challenge of the June decision.
Taking all this into account, on 13 September 2017, the Council’s Cabinet decided not to implement the decisions made in June (with the exception of the Mobile Library Service, which was suspended from 1 October, pending a further decision on library provision) and the consultation was extended.
On 17 January 2017, the Cabinet met to consider a series of recommendations made following the most recent consultation. These recommendations can be read in full here as part of the detailed report to Cabinet. A total of 11 appendices to the main report can also be accessed here.
The recommendations include: relocating the Central Library Service from Crown Street to the Dolphin Centre, the discontinuation of the Mobile Library Service and the transformation of previously closure-threatened Cockerton Library to a community-run facility.
Now Cabinet has agreed with the recommendations in the report, the final decisions on the library service were made by full Council at a meeting on 26 January 2017.
Responses from both consultation periods carried out in relation to these proposals were made available to councillors.