Views sought on impact of library services changes following budget cuts
Telford & Wrekin’s Council is seeking people’s views about the impact of changes to libraries following cuts in the Council’s budget.
The Council has to make £30 million of cuts over the next two years due to continuing cuts in Government grant.
Earlier this year the Council had said it would have to stop running six libraries at Dawley, Donnington, Hadley, Madeley, Newport and Stirchley from April 2017.
However after listening to comments following public consultation earlier this year on initial budget plans, the council confirmed that it would continue to run Newport and Madeley Library but review opening hours.
At the same time the Council also appealed for community organisations to come forward with ideas of how the other four libraries and the mobile library could be run by the community.
Town and parish councils covering Dawley, Donnington and Stirchley libraries and the Hadley Learning Community supported by Hadley and Leegomery Parish council, have said that they would be willing to run a community library in their area with support from the Council. Unfortunately no one came forward to run the mobile library
These offers of support, along with the Council’s decision to reduce the cut in the libraries’ budget, means that all libraries in the borough can now remain open, with some changes such as opening hours, more use of self service machines and a potential to charge for some services such as ancestry.
Overall, Telford & Wrekin Council must cut £483,000 a year from libraries.
The consultation, which is online and in all libraries, asks people what impact these changes would have on them and if the alternatives such as the online library and the home delivery services could help residents to continue to use and enjoy library services in the best way possible within the budget available.
A series of roadshows will be held in libraries across the borough during the consultation details of which are at www.telford.gov.uk/budget
The consultation runs from 1 June until 24 July 2016.
Councillor Liz Clare, Cabinet member for Culture, Sports, Parks and Green Spaces, said: “Our initial proposals would have seen the council stopping running six libraries.
“After listening to the public’s feedback in our consultation earlier this year, we are keeping Madeley and Newport libraries open but these and other council libraries will operate differently from how they do now to make the cuts we must find.
“Before any changes are made, it’s important that people give us their views and tell us about any impact these will have on them.
“So whether this is by going online, coming into one of the libraries or talking to us at one of the library roadshow dates, we want to hear your views.
Councillor Lee Carter, cabinet member for Finance and Partnerships added: “We are very grateful to Great Dawley, Donnington & Muxton, Brookside & Stirchley councils and to HLC, who with financial support from Hadley & Leegomery Council, have all come forward to help to continue a library service in Dawley, Donnington, Hadley and Stirchley.
“Together we are ensuring that all our libraries are staying open. Together with partners we will continue to do all we can to protect our communities from the fallout of these extremely harsh and unfair Government cuts.”