LIBRARIES: Council gets 2,500 questionnaires back for library consultation

News from the Boston Standard, Lincolnshire: bostonstandard.co.uk, on Twitter @standardboston
News from the Boston Standard, Lincolnshire: bostonstandard.co.uk, on Twitter @standardboston

County council bosses have received 2,500 questionnaires back so far for their plans to save £2 million through cuts to library services.

People have got just under a month to have their say on proposals that would cut 32 ‘static’ libraries and replace them with either a smaller mobile service or hand them over to volunteers to run a reduced-hours library.

The plans, which would see 170 posts axed, would affect libraries at Kirton, Donington and Coningsby.

The council says the libraries are suffering from declining usage.

Councillor Nick Worth, executive member for libraries, said: “So far, we’ve received around 2,500 questionnaires, as well as 350 individual letters/emails. We’ve had eight consultation events around the county, attended by around 220 people, and there have been more than 5,000 visits to our consultation webpages.

“A range of views have been offered on the initial proposals. Some people would like to see libraries become multi-use buildings, incorporating other services such as cafes and heritage centres. Others have suggested ways of raising income or extending the choice of services on offer.

“Another key theme is the right balance between council-run libraries, community libraries and mobile libraries.

“All these comments will be taken into consideration in making a final decision on how best to create a more efficient, more affordable library service that meets local needs.

“People have until September 30 to take part in the consultation. We want to hear everyone’s views, so make sure you have your say before the deadline.”

The council has been contacted by 21 communities interested in taking over their local library, and have received an offer from Lincolnshire Co-operative to support six sites elsewhere in the county.

To take part in the consultation visit www.lincolnshire.gov.uk/librariesconsultation, call 01522 782010 or pick up a hard copy from the library.

The consultation runs until September 30.