Warwickshire County Council announces some Changes to Police and council services - so what does it mean to the people of Kenilworth? From the 28th February 2011 next year Kenilworth Library could be a little crowded as the Police Station is closed to the public and Warwickshire Direct (Kenilworth Library) will then offer a police front desk.
To make this happen, Kenilworth Library will see a mini makeover, closing from Monday 10 January 2011 and opening again on 9am Mon 7 February 2011. There are also some self service machines being installed. Leamington Library was also refitted recently - when it opened, some people were saying there was more space - there were less books on display. Back in the old days, when Kenilworth Library had a set of stairs leading to the ground floor where the Tourist Information and massive study space were located, the library had a lot of room. Sadly today, the place is shrinking with one just one floor and is it four or five services crammed in? For those who do not know, the Town Centre Manager is also located there. And there was talk of the Kenilworth Weekly News having a desk too.
There is a room on the ground floor to the rear which can be hired by the day or the hour (it has a small kitchen and a toilet), in my view we need to relax the rules and get some Starbucks Fairtrade coffee and light snacks allowed in the place like other forward thinking authorities have learned (see Hillingdon, London) while fighting back the cuts (see BBC Panorama). Some have even hosted the odd pop concert (Diana Vickers at Lancaster Library).
Find out more on Monday 13 December 2010 (2.30-4.30pm) at Kenilworth Library for the first of two drop in sessions.
Full text of WCC Press Release reads:
Changes to Police and Council services
Tuesday 7th December, 2010
Police front desk enquiries and council services are soon to be delivered to the public in new ways in Kenilworth – and an information session is being held this month so local residents can find out more about it.
From 28 February next year, Warwickshire Police force will be teaming up with Warwickshire County Council and Warwick District Council to provide front desk police services from ‘Warwickshire Direct – Kenilworth’ and Library at Smalley Place. The services are currently available from the front desk enquiry office at Kenilworth police station, situated next door.
‘Warwickshire Direct – Kenilworth’ and Library is also set for a makeover in January and February, with the result being a more relaxed and informal layout, an improved seating and newspaper area, more space for books to be displayed, and the installation of new state-of-the-art self service machines, which will give customers the opportunity to borrow, return and renew books themselves.
The first of two drop in information sessions about the changes will be held on Monday 13 December, with afternoon tea, running from 2.30pm to 4.30pm at 'Warwickshire Direct - Kenilworth' and Library.
The move to integrate police services into the ‘Warwickshire Direct – Kenilworth’ and Library facility follows successful schemes in Warwick and Alcester, where police services are now available from Warwickshire Direct at Shire Hall and Globe House – meaning that members of the public can now access a wider range of services under one roof.
The services will include those currently offered at Kenilworth such as reporting crime and anti-social behaviour incidents and lost and found property enquiries.
Before the police services move in, and in order to carry out the planned improvements to the building, the Warwickshire Direct and Library facility will be temporarily closed to the public from Monday 10 January 2011 and reopen again at 9am on Monday 7 February 2011.
Talking about the planned makeover, Tracey Baker, Divisional Library Manager for Warwickshire County Council said: ”We are very excited about the proposed new look for ‘Warwickshire Direct – Kenilworth’ and Library. We hope that everyone will appreciate that we need to close for this short period to enable all this to happen and apologise for any inconvenience this may cause.
“Customers can borrow or return library items at any Warwickshire library and can renew items by phone using the 24/7 renewals line on 01926 499273 or do this online 24 hours a day at www.warwickshire.gov.uk/libraries.“
Speaking about police services moving into the ‘Warwickshire Direct – Kenilworth’ facility, Supt Adrian McGee, Head of Customer Contact at Warwickshire Police, said:
“Warwickshire Police is currently reviewing all policing services and the facilities required to support them. This includes enquiry offices at police stations.
“These changes enable us to make better use of our resources and thus provide a more effective and efficient service to the public and we welcome this opportunity to team up with Warwickshire County Council and Warwick District Council to offer this kind of service in Kenilworth and feel sure that the local community will benefit.
“The public are reminded that all members of the force remain committed to protecting communities from harm and will not be distracted from this need by the process of change. We will continue to reduce the number of people killed or seriously injured in Warwickshire, both on the roads or as a result of crime, and reduce burglary of homes and vehicle crime.
“Warwickshire Police is committed to dealing with every enquiry by delivering the right service, first time and providing local people better access to facilities when they need them most.
"The police station in Kenilworth will still be an operational base and there will be no reduction in policing in the town as a result of these changes."
Kushal Birla, Head of Customer Service and Communications at Warwickshire County Council, said: “In February, people in Kenilworth will start to see and experience the benefits of the changes that we are making to the town’s Warwickshire Direct facility and Library, including the refurbishment and the integration of police services.
"Now is the time for residents to find out more about the changes taking place, so we are encouraging people to come along to the information sessions.”
Susie Drummond, Head of Customer and Information Services at Warwick District Council, said: “We already deliver a wide variety of services to customers in Kenilworth with our partners in Libraries and Customer Services.
"The integration of police services has proved popular with customers in Warwick, and we look forward to delivering the service in Kenilworth. The changes to the building will make sure that we continue to provide a welcoming and helpful service to the community in Kenilworth.”
A further drop in information session about the changes will be held on Friday 7 January, with a coffee morning being held at ‘Warwickshire Direct – Kenilworth’ and Library from 10.30am to 12.30pm.