Yesterday was full cabinet. This is where the majority of formal decisions are made. The other place is full council.
We had a full agenda including a number of petitions. We also had guests from Indonesia, who were hosted by the World Bank. They wanted to see our democracy in action which they seemed to enjoy.
Just before Cabinet was due to start I noticed a gathering of library supporters outside Shire Hall. Keen to hear what the issues were I gathered up David Harty, cabinet member for Learning, filled my coffee mug and went down for a chat. Cabinet have already indicated that we wish to support our library service and have high level plans to improve on the service. It was good to see passion from the supporters.
We are looking at budgets in a different way, since I became Leader in May, which means that we don’t need to take 48% out of the library budget. We intend making those savings elsewhere by sharing buildings and staff with other parts of the organisation. So, unusually, we had library supporters asking for something we have already agreed.
Cabinet was an opportunity for me to say, at least four times, that the library service is safe in our hands, will have real buildings (although they may not be the existing buildings and might be shared) and that greater use of technology will be in addition. We still expect to have a mix of volunteers and paid staff.