This year’s libraries budget: TSL shares in the general pain

We’ve now seen the budget for Lambeth Libraries for 2014/15 (April 2014 to March 2015). This plans:

a very substantial reduction in overall spending (operating costs only) on the previous year’s result, of £1,372,000 – a fall of 28.8%. This is in large part down to the reduction in employment costs as a result of restructuring

a sharp increase in the income generated by individual libraries ( from £148,000 to £378,000 – a more than doubling), mainly the result of greater exploitation of the potential at the new library at Clapham

How does TSL fare?

 

The cut in spending at TSL this year is 27.1% – just below the average for the whole service but somewhat higher than the 20.7% average for the five smaller libraries (Carnegie, Durning, Minet, Waterloo and TSL). However it has to be remembered that these budget figures are for current (operating ) costs only. Capital spending is not taken into account. The record for TSL here has historically been very disappointing, with this type of spending running far below that allocated to other, similar-size or even smaller libraries.

 

The expectation for income generated at TSL this year is for a rise of just over two-fifths on last year, to cover 7.4% of operating costs. Last year the contribution was 4%. This target is much more modest than the forecast for the service overall – a rise of 157.7% in the sums raised (ie a more than doubling) to a 15.5% share. (We have elsewhere argued that TSL has unrealised potential here.)

 

(We have a detailed analysis of the budget figures- titled An Eye-Watering Squeeze – which we will email to you, on request to friendsoftsl@hotmail.com)

 

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