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Library opening hours consultation gets underway

Library opening hours consultation gets underway

by Henry James (October 2017)

LANCASHIRE County Council has begun a consultation asking people for their views on how their local libraries’ opening hours could be allocated across the week in future.

The eight-week exercise will run until Sunday, November 26 and library users, staff and partner organisations are invited to express their views on the proposals before a final decision is taken early next year.

Each library has been assigned to one of four different bands depending upon local need, aimed at tailoring opening hours are proportionate to the population that each serves.

The consultation will be asking for comments on the way the opening hours are allocated across the week.

The new opening hours proposed are based on visitor numbers and when libraries are used the most.

People can give their views on how their local library opening hours by filling in a printed questionnaire available at libraries.

Alternatively an online survey is available to complete at www.lancashire.gov.uk/haveyoursay by clicking on consultations followed by library opening hours consultation.

Completed questionnaires need to be returned to a Lancashire County Council library by no later than Saturday, November 25. Online submissions can be completed up until November 26.

The proposed model is:

l Band A open for 50 hours over six days every week.

l Band B open for 42 hours over six days every week.

l Band C open for 34 hours over five days every week.

l Band D open for 18 hours over four days every week.

County Councillor Peter Buckley, Lancashire’s cabinet member for community and cultural services, said: “I would encourage everyone involved to let us have their views. We want to make sure that the service provided to our customers is as streamlined and efficient as possible.

“We’re proposing changes to when libraries will be open and overall this would mean them being open for more hours in total across the county.

“We’ve designed the proposed model according to when we know libraries are most used, with the aim of better meeting demand with the resources we have.

“There will be no difference in the quality of service between bands.

“We would very much like people to take this opportunity to look at what is being proposed and how they might be affected, and to help us shape the final proposals by responding to the consultation.

“People can let us know their views either by completing a printed questionnaire or online, whichever they prefer.”

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