Merton Council is celebrating after its library and heritage service was “ready to respond to the Government agenda” according to the Department of Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS). Merton received the news after the DCMS assessed the borough’s Annual Library Plan.

The assessors stated that: “Merton performs strongly against most of the Standards” set by the DCMS for public libraries, and in some areas Merton was leading the field.

These included responding to external and local influences, with the assessors saying that: “The service is well prepared to respond to initiatives around Best Value, social inclusion and developments in ICT (information and communications technology)”

The borough was also congratulated for its policies for social inclusion and lifelong learning with the assessors saying that: “In particular Merton has shown good practice in services to Black and Ethnic Minorities (BEM) and in the needs of BEM staff. This influence has extended beyond Merton to the wider library community”

Finally, Merton was commended on its development of service standards. It also said: “It has been a particularly busy time in Merton with a fundamental service BV review and management and service restructuring. It is a credit to all concerned that so much has been achieved during this period.”

The DCMS assessment concludes by saying: “there is very clear evidence of continuous review in the library service and evidence of responses to the outcomes”

Councillor Karl Carter, Cabinet Member for Secondary Education and Lifelong Learning, said: “I am extremely pleased with the results of the assessment which clearly shows how well the library and heritage service is doing, particularly with regards to several key areas.

“We are constantly striving to produce the best services that Merton can offer and this assessment reflects the hard work and dedication of everyone involved.”