Sandwell's libraries get the thumbs up for customer service

Blackheath, Oldbury and Cradley Heath libraries have helped Sandwell Council clinch top award.

The council’s service picked up a Customer Service Excellence standard for the second year running after meeting all 56 targets of the government-backed award.

The standard is the successor to Chartermark, which the library service has held since 2005.

Sandwell Council's cabinet member for culture and leisure Cllr Ann Shackleton said: "We are committed to putting customers at the heart of everything we do and I am particularly proud of the library service for not only achieving the standard, but for improving on last year's performance."

An assessor who visited Sandwell last month praised the council as well as other providers, partners and communities as among the best in the country.

The council staff are working closely with local communities and offer more services for children, there has been an increase in the number of reading groups and the service has recruited more volunteers.

Sandwell Council's cabinet member for culture and leisure Cllr Ann Shackleton said: "We are committed to putting customers at the heart of everything we do and I am particularly proud of the library service for not only achieving the standard, but for improving on last year's performance."

A council spokesman said: “It has been a busy year for the service with a host of changes, including the appointment of a new chief librarian, library refurbishments, new libraries, a new computer system and a continued focus on a Big Lottery funded community engagement programme.”

The brand new Blackheath Library, which will have a host of new facilities, is near completion as is Oldbury’s new library.

Last month Sandwell Council announced they were contemplating merging library services with Birmingham, Dudley and Walsall councils.

Comments (9)

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3:24pm Thu 9 Dec 10

satchman says...

Well done Sandwell. Perhaps we are not as bad as people believe,although we have yet to here from one man from bearwood who might disagree with this award??
Well done Sandwell. Perhaps we are not as bad as people believe,although we have yet to here from one man from bearwood who might disagree with this award?? satchman

11:39pm Thu 9 Dec 10

The Mayor says...

At least Sandwell is investing in libraries, unlike the dopes at Dudley who seem determined to wreck the library service (for those few towns that have one)
At least Sandwell is investing in libraries, unlike the dopes at Dudley who seem determined to wreck the library service (for those few towns that have one) The Mayor

11:34am Fri 10 Dec 10

Linebacker II says...

Doesn't Sandwell get £60 million more each year in central government money? You can build an awful lot of libraries (and swimming baths, for that matter) with £60 million.
Doesn't Sandwell get £60 million more each year in central government money? You can build an awful lot of libraries (and swimming baths, for that matter) with £60 million. Linebacker II

11:45am Fri 10 Dec 10

satchman says...

It also has a larger community to look after than Dudley LinebackerII So its proportional. People moan and groan about Sandwell but it doesn't do too bad really does it??
It also has a larger community to look after than Dudley LinebackerII So its proportional. People moan and groan about Sandwell but it doesn't do too bad really does it?? satchman

6:35pm Fri 10 Dec 10

Linebacker II says...

Wrong, Satchman.

Dudley Borough has a population of 310,000; Sandwell Borough a population of only 283,000.

Meanwhile, Dudley MBC has a budget of £239 million, whilst Sandwell burns its way through a budget of £269 million.
Wrong, Satchman. Dudley Borough has a population of 310,000; Sandwell Borough a population of only 283,000. Meanwhile, Dudley MBC has a budget of £239 million, whilst Sandwell burns its way through a budget of £269 million. Linebacker II

7:13pm Fri 10 Dec 10

satchman says...

Wrong way around dudley is approx 192,000 and sandwell is close to 300,000 dont know where you got you're figures from.
Wrong way around dudley is approx 192,000 and sandwell is close to 300,000 dont know where you got you're figures from. satchman

7:19pm Fri 10 Dec 10

satchman says...

The figures seem to vary depending on where you go but sandwell seems to have the higher of the twos population.
The figures seem to vary depending on where you go but sandwell seems to have the higher of the twos population. satchman

7:41pm Fri 10 Dec 10

satchman says...

The figures vary even Dudley and sandwell dont seem to know their own true figures.
The figures vary even Dudley and sandwell dont seem to know their own true figures. satchman

8:34pm Fri 10 Dec 10

Linebacker II says...

Fair enough, the figures I quoted were gleaned and rounded-up from two different sources.

However, just so we are now singing from the same hymn sheet - and in order to put this pointless debate to bed - I will quote the last authorative source to physically, precisely and comparatively count the two boroughs' population, namely the official 2001 Census.

Dudley Borough - 305,155
; Sandwell Borough - 282,904.

Sources: http://www.statistic
s.gov.uk/census2001/
pyramids/pages/00cr.
asp & http://www.statistic
s.gov.uk/census2001/
pyramids/pages/00cs.
asp.
Fair enough, the figures I quoted were gleaned and rounded-up from two different sources. However, just so we are now singing from the same hymn sheet - and in order to put this pointless debate to bed - I will quote the last authorative source to physically, precisely and comparatively count the two boroughs' population, namely the official 2001 Census. Dudley Borough - 305,155 ; Sandwell Borough - 282,904. Sources: http://www.statistic s.gov.uk/census2001/ pyramids/pages/00cr. asp & http://www.statistic s.gov.uk/census2001/ pyramids/pages/00cs. asp. Linebacker II

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