Library consultation opens ahead of Sunday closure vote

Library Book Sale, ANL-160117-092619009
Library Book Sale, ANL-160117-092619009

Library users in Leamington and Rugby are urged to have their say ahead of a decision to cut opening hours at Warwickshire’s two biggest centres.

Plans are in place to scrap Sunday opening in both towns in the latest cost cutting move to save £100,000 this year.

A public consultation is now open before a final decision is made by Warwickshire County Council’s cabinet for the future of weekend hours at two of its biggest libraries.

The Sunday closure plan, which also affects Nuneaton Library, hopes to make the required savings with “minimal impact on frontline services and opening hours” across the county.

Closures alone would save £54,000 this year, with a further £14,600 planned to come from staff cuts and 31,400 to be made from changes in administration.

The move will not mean changes to weekday hours or the book fund which has been protected.

Cllr Kam Kaur, portfolio holder behind the consultation, said: “We have carefully considered these proposals, which we believe would help us to retain the network while minimising impact on opening hours.

“While Sundays are not the busiest day of the week for the three libraries, Sundays generate expensive running costs. In order to make the same level of savings on another day of the week, we would be required to close for more hours.”

Over the last four years, the library service has delivered over £2million in savings, with a “complete transformation of the service” including 13 becoming community managed and with a reduction in opening hours and staffing.

Leamington’s library in the Pump Room is open from midday to 4pm on Sundays with an average 306 weekly visitors.

In Rugby, the Little Elborow Street library is open from midday to 4pm on Sundays with an average 328 visitors on that day each week.

Have your say in the consultation here before March 21.

Staff will also undergo consultation and all responses will form a report to be sent to the council’s cabinet in the summer.