Essex Libraries Consultation – Still time to have your say
Essex County Council needs to save �4 million over two years on its libraries services and is reviewing opening hours, staffing, reduction in stock fund and mobile services.
It is slashing opening times at all of its 73 libraries by as much as 16 per cent, from 2652 to 2232 hours per week, to achieve yearly savings of �857,000.
The Saffron Walden facility will lose 13 hours a week, from 61 to 48.
The new opening time patterns are based on two options: Option A, 9am-7pm on Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday, 9am-5pm on Saturday, and closed on Wednesday and Sunday; Option B, 9am-5om Monday-Saturday and closed Sunday. There is also a third option available for ‘no preference’.
The council’s cabinet member for Heritage, Culture and the Arts, Jeremy Lucas, said: “These proposals are necessary because of the budgetary pressures which all local authorities are facing but many members have expressed how pleased they are that no libraries in Essex are facing closure.
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“We are also keen to work in partnership with local councils or community groups who may have suggestions for providing funding or in-kind support in order to keep libraries open for longer hours. We would particularly welcome any suggestions of this type.”
Over 15,000 library members have responded to the consultation so far. Members who have not yet taken part or who wish to make additional comments are reminded that they have until March 27 to make their views known.
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The consultation can be completed online at essex.gov.uk/libraries or at Saffron Walden Library in King Street.
Additional comments can be made in writing to Susan Carragher, Director of Libraries and Culture, Room 11, Library Headquarters, Goldlay Gardens, Chelmsford, Essex CM2 0EW or by visiting essex.gov.uk and filling in a Complaints, Compliments and Comments form from the Get Involved section of the website.