Monday, 12 September 2016

Partial reprieve for libraries but mobile library to be scrapped

After a consultation which attracted 3,600 responses, the Conservatives were forced to rethink their original plans for library cuts but unfortunately the new plans are very much a mixed bag.

The good news is that people in Chipping Sodbury have come together to save their library as a volunteer-run service and several other communities have offered to run libraries in village halls and other venues.

The use of new technology to open library buildings for longer is also welcome. Those aged 16 and over will be able to register to access libraries with their library card when staff aren't present. Children will have to be accompanied by an adult.

Unfortunately staff hours will still be cut significantly and the mobile library service will be scrapped altogether. That currently serves over 50 communities, many in our rural areas. The council says it can support up to 10 community libraries. If you will be affected by the loss of the mobile service, please let us know.

Back when the budget was set in February, your Focus Team made it clear we felt services like libraries were more important than shaving a small amount of the green bin charge. Many people have told us they agree. Unfortunately when we backed an amendment to that effect, we were outvoted.

There will now be a consultation on the proposals for each library, for example on which days and times staff should be present. We'll let you know when you can have your say. The changes are due to be made in October 2017.

No comments:

Post a Comment