Lincolnshire: Libraries consultation enters final weeks

Gainsborough news
Gainsborough news

There is just over a month left for people to have their say on the future of Lincolnshire’s libraries.

Lincolnshire County Council is looking to keep operating just 15 of its 47 libraries in a bid to save £2 million a year.

It hopes that local communities will step in to take over running some of the libraries, while mobile services will also help bridge the gap.

The council said that in the face of declining user numbers and budget cuts from central government, the way it offers a library service across the county needed to change.

Coun Nick Worth, executive member for libraries, said:“So far, we’ve received around 2,500 questionnaires, as well as 350 individual letters and 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 web pages.”

Coun Worth said that 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,” he said.

“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,” he added.

So far the council has been contacted by 21 communities interested in taking over their local library.

It has also received an offer from Lincolnshire Co-operative to support six of the under threat sites.

People can still have their say by filling in the online questionnaire at www.lincolnshire.gov.uk/librariesconsultation, calling the customer service centre on 01522 782010, or picking up a hard copy in their local library.

The consultation continues until Monday 30th September 2013.