Library hours set to be reduced in cost-cutting measure

CUTS to opening hours at libraries across the district are being planned in a bid to save money.

Leicestershire County Council is proposing to reduce evening and weekend opening times in a move which could save about £350,000 a year.

If the plans go ahead Harborough Library would see its late opening hours on Mondays, Tuesdays and Thursdays reduced from 8pm to 7pm on the Monday and Tuesday, and 5pm on Thursdays.

It would also close an hour earlier on the Saturday, at 4pm.

In Lutterworth the Tuesday 7pm late opening would be cut to 5pm and on Saturdays it would shut at 1pm instead of 5pm.

Libraries in Fleckney, Kibworth, Broughton Astley and Great Glen would also see reductions in their opening hours under the proposals.

David Sprason, county council cabinet member for Adults and Communities, said: “In these difficult times, some councils are closing museums and libraries, but we’re proposing a different approach.

“By closing them at their least busy times, we can cut costs and keep them open at the most popular times. This reflects the public’s desire to get value for money from these services.”

The county council, which needs to make £79 million savings following Government spending cuts, is also asking people to consider volunteering at libraries, to help bring down staffing costs.

A public consultation on the proposals is being run until June 24, with a final decision due to be made in July.

Visit www.leics.gov.uk/librariesreview to have your say.