What is the Industrial and Provident Society?

The Industrial and Provident Society (IPS) is an independent not-for-profit organization registered with the Financial Services Authority, and chaired by Shona Bendix. It is currently in the transitional stage to full start-up in June 2012 and is expected to be fully formed in 18 months with a Board comprising of members of local library groups.

Whilst the Council retains its statutory responsibility, and remains publicly accountable for the performance of the whole service, the IPS will form partnerships with library groups and will have collective responsibility for – and control of – the library system. It will negotiate and hold the libraries budget from the County Council on the basis of a service agreement.

Initially, the IPS will take over the employment of all contracted employees, frontline as well as central, through transfers under Transfer of Undertakings (Protection of Employment) (TUPE) regulations.

Its objectives are to:

  • promote and enable reading, learning and the sharing of knowledge, through free access to book borrowing, electronic and other information services;
  •  as well as books, make other educational, cultural and entertainment materials available for hire;
  •  encourage access to informal adult learning, skills training and employment opportunities;
  • facilitate activities to improve health and well-being;
  • provide welcoming accessible environments where social inclusion and community development can safely prosper in response to changing demographic, socio-economic and educational needs of the people in the area of benefit;
  • build partnerships of shared interests between public, private and voluntary sectors at the heart of communities.

Under the IPS local communities will need to contribute to the costs of the library service, either by raising revenue from activities (other than the free book lending service) or by reducing running costs through self-help schemes, or some combination of these.

To do this, the IPS will help F.O.L.K. determine local needs and priorities, nominate representatives for election to the IPS central board and prepare us for managing our part of the integrated service, and once in place provide ongoing membership support and new business development.

Comment from Shona Bendix, IPS Chairman:

“The people I’m working with in the IPS and library service share a very strong and very clear aim – to do what’s best for the future of the service. This fundamental principle is what’s driving all of us to do what we can to make sure our much-loved libraries are able to flourish and continue to be well-used for decades to come. I’m very much looking forward to working in partnership with the board, library groups and the public to turn those ambitions into reality.”

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This blog was compiled by F.O.L.K. member Sheila Smith using information gathered from http://www.publications.parliament.uk/pa/cm201012/cmselect/cmcumeds/writev/library/lib133.htm

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