Norfolk library opening hours to be cut
PUBLISHED: 15:46 21 July 2011 | UPDATED: 07:54 22 July 2011
The opening hours of public libraries across Norfolk will definitely have to be cut, but council bosses say it means none will have to close.
Norfolk County Council is reducing hours by an average of 10pc as part of a package of measures to save £1.5m over the next three years.
A public consultation over the reduced opening was launched in May, with different options put forward for each of the council’s 47 libraries. More than 8,000 people responded and options chosen by the majority of people determining each library’s new opening times, which will start on Monday, October 3.
James Carswell, cabinet member for cultural services at Norfolk County Council, said: “It is because we recognise the great many benefits and opportunities our libraries bring to their local communities that we have always been committed to keeping all of our libraries open and trying to find the savings required in a way that will protect and maintain this fantastic service as much as possible.
“By listening to the opinions of both the people who use libraries and the staff that run them, I hope we have achieved this.
“For most libraries the preferred option for revised opening times as chosen by the public was clear and these will now be taken forward.
“Where the results were very close or where the public came up with other suggestions, we have found an alternative pattern of opening hours with the help of staff and local communities.
“This hasn’t been an easy time for staff or the people who love their local library, and I’m afraid the outcomes won’t please everyone but we have worked hard to make this process fair.
“I’m very proud of our libraries and hope that, with this consultation, we have done them proud.”
Most of the savings will come from staff cuts and efficiency savings.
A full list of the revised opening times is available by clicking on the link to the top right of this story.
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