Li­brary ser­vices set to change as coun­cil tries to save cash

The Peterborough Evening Telegraph - - Neighbourhood News -

LI­BRARY ser­vices in Cam­bridgeshire are to be trans­formed in a bid to make sav­ings re­quired fol­low­ing Govern­ment spend­ing cuts.

Cam­bridgeshire County Coun­cil is putting for­ward pro­pos­als to trans­form its li­brary ser­vice, which cov­ers Whit­tle­sey Li­brary.

The aim is to try and meet lo­cal needs while mak­ing sav­ings.

The re­view has been prompted af­ter the new coali­tion Govern­ment an­nounced cuts for lo­cal author­ity fund­ing in its emer­gency bud­get.

Cam­bridgeshire County Coun­cil­lors have made it clear that the pri­or­ity should be pro­tect­ing front­line ser­vices, es­pe­cially to re­mote com­mu­ni­ties and sup­port­ing staff while re­duc­ing its bud­get by around 25 per cent.

It has been told it has to make sav­ings, in­clud­ing £2.2 mil­lion in three years from li­braries.

Op­tions in­clude cre­at­ing a trust, or bring­ing in a third party to run li­braries. Pool­ing of re­sources by au­thor­i­ties across the East of Eng­land re­gion, for pur­poses such as buy­ing books, is also be­ing looked at.

Mo­bile li­brary vis­its may go down from fort­nightly to monthly. The coun­cil says clos­ing li­braries will be a last re­sort.

Cam­bridgeshire County Coun­cil’s Cabi­net is be­ing asked to con­sider plans in de­tail. Once a plan is agreed on, the coun­cil will con­sult lo­cal com­mu­ni­ties.

Cabi­net mem­ber for com­mu­ni­ties, Sir Peter Brown, said: “We need to trans­form the way we do things so we can keep de­liv­er­ing high qual­ity ser­vices to our com­mu­ni­ties.”

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