It certainly appears that this is the case. On Friday the following vacancy was posted on the Jobs in Kent website:
Note in particular the opening paragraph of the job posting:
Our client requires a competent and confident results driven individual who will play a critical role working collaboratively with external stakeholders to ensure the implementation and delivery of a trust model for Kent Libraries, Registration and Archives.
The vacancy is for someone who can ensure that the trust model goes ahead for Libraries, Registration and Archives. This, of course, rather implies that the decision has been made and soon public libraries across Kent will be handed to a trust (seemingly mirroring Suffolk’s model for library service delivery). There has not, as yet, been any public consultation regarding this potential move with Kent County Council and with little in the way of effective political opposition across the county, councillors are probably thinking that their plans will have an easy passage and before long the county’s libraries will be in the hands of a trust.
What adds an interesting hint of intrigue to these plans is that the current head of public libraries in Kent, Cath Anley, is standing down from her post later this year. It’s believed that she is leaving to “explore her own business interests”. It’s unclear whether this is away from libraries or whether she might find herself involved in a trust running public libraries. Either way, the timing of the departure is interesting. Maybe it’s a case of seeing what is ahead and jumping ship. Maybe.