Village libraries could be axed under new proposals – and time is running out for people to have their say on the plans.
Leicestershire County Council’s libraries in Fleckney, Great Glen and Kibworth are facing the chop if teams of volunteers are not found to run the buildings for free.
Busier libraries in Lutterworth and Broughton Astley face having their opening hours reduced from 35 to 31 hours every week.
Harborough Library, which reopened in April after a major revamp, could see its opening hours extended from 35 to 38 hours per week under the plans.
The plans form part of the county council’s bid to cut £800,000 a year from its £5.6m libraries budget by 2015.
The council is seeking people’s views, with a deadline of July 7 for any comments.
Some public meetings have already been held and the council says it has had 2,500 responses so far.
County Hall wants a partnership group of volunteers to run and staff the libraries in Fleckney, Great Glen and Kibworth. But if volunteers are not found the facilities will be closed and replaced with a weekly mobile library.
There is a meeting scheduled to be held at Fleckney Sports Centre at 7pm on Tuesday, June 17, and in Great Glen this Wednesday at the village’s Methodist Church at 7pm. A meeting was held in Kibworth on May 8.
The cuts could affect 2,242 active library borrowers in the district – 874 in Fleckney, 450 in Great Glen and 918 in Kibworth.
The three librarues cost £119,421 a year to run – £49,793 in Fleckney, £29,346 in Great Glen and £40,282 in Kibworth.
Cllr Richard Blunt, the county council’s cabinet member for libraries, said: “Many people are indicating they would be willing to volunteer and be involved in some way in running their local library.
“A number of groups are already actively looking into how they could manage libraries and we are keen to work with them.”
To give your response to the consultation or for more information, see the website www.leics.gov.uk/haveyoursay/futurelibraries.