Hay-on-Wye's library to see cutbacks

Hay-on-Wye's library to see cutbacks

Hay-on-Wye's library will see its hours slashed by 20% if plans are approved by the Powys County Council.

The book-loving town, which features more than a dozen bookshops and hosts the famous literary festival directed by Peter Florence each summer, will see its library hours cut alongside 17 other libraries in the region if plans are given the go-ahead next week.

Alongside cuts to opening hours, mobile library services will be switched from fortnightly to monthly, while the council will also look a co-locating library branches with other council services or community projects.

Altogether, the council is looking to save £350,000 from its library bill in the next financial year, as part of wider overall spending cuts. A consultation, which gave the option of reducing hours as opposed to closing branches, saw the support of 71% of respondents.

Cabinet member for library services Graham Brown said: "Nearly 2,000 people responded to our consultation and 71% supported the option of reducing opening hours by 20%. The opening hours changes will not delivery sufficient savings on its own and the council will have to change the mobile library service from a fortnightly operation to every four weeks. We will also investigating the possibility of co-locating some branch libraries with other council services or community operations."

He added: "We will look at existing usage patterns within our libraries so that the reduction in hours can be implemented with as little impact as possible."

If the changes are approved by the council's cabinet on Tuesday (21st October), the cuts will be implemented from 1st April next year.