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Opening hours to be cut at several County Council-run libraries

Opening hours at seven libraries in Derbyshrie have been revised by the county council, affecting facilites in Brimington, Clowne and Killamarsh among others.

Their opening hours will be cut to 18 hours a week after the council were unable to fund community groups to take over the running of them.

The seven affected libraries are Brimington, Clowne, Creswell, Duffield, Gamesley, Killamarsh and Somercotes.

Opening hours at an eighth library are also shortly to be consulted on after an interested party working on taking it over for community management withdrew from the process.

The changes are part of an overall revision of opening hours across all county council libraries and form an element of the authority’s innovative Libraries for Derbyshire programme which also includes transferring 20 of the council’s 45 libraries over to community management.

Libraries to be transferred to community management that opened for more than 18 hours per week, and did not initially have an interested group working on taking them over by 1 October 2019, all needed to reduce their opening times to 18 hours per week - in line with the Libraries for Derbyshire programme.

During October local communities were consulted about reducing opening times to 18 hours at the seven libraries where no groups had come forward to run them, and 144 people had their say over six weeks.

Revised timetables for all seven have now been agreed and the new opening hours will be introduced from 6 April 2020.

A consultation into reducing hours at Borrowash Library is now needed after the interested party considering taking over its running recently decided not to pursue their interest.

Borrowash Library on Victoria Avenue is currently open for 32 hours per week and will need to reduce its opening times to 18 hours in line with the other seven libraries where consultations have already been held.

Derbyshire County Council Leader and Cabinet Member for Strategic Leadership, Culture and Tourism Councillor Barry Lewis said: “The changes being made are all part of the Libraries for Derbyshire programme, and as well as achieving necessary savings they will ensure we have a library service which reflects people’s changing habits and use of new technology, and is fit for the future.

“We were disappointed that the interested party we were working with on taking over Borrowash Library has withdrawn from the process, but we do expect this to happen from time to time and are not downhearted.

“We accept it is a complex process and requires a big commitment, and everyone involved has to be confident the library can be sustainable and thrive for years to come.

“We are currently working with eight groups towards taking over their local libraries and they are busy preparing their business cases, so we remain very positive about our vision for the future of our library service.”

Councillor Lewis added: “I’d encourage people who use Borrowash Library to take part in the consultation and let us know what opening times suit them best and why. We want to make this as seamless as possible and cause the least inconvenience to library users.

“We did make changes to the proposals around Brimington Library following comments received during the recent consultations, so people’s views can make a difference.”

The Borrowash Library consultation launches on Monday 10 February for six weeks.

Library users will be asked which days or specific hours would suit them best for the library to be open. The online form will give tick-box options and also free text space so people can explain reasons for their choices and give further comment.

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