Library cutbacks in Durham, Wakefield and Wolverhampton

Library cutbacks in Durham, Wakefield and Wolverhampton

A consultation on reducing opening hours at libraries in County Durham will begin on Monday August 6th as Durham County Council looks for overall budget savings of £180m by 2017. Opening hours at all Durham's 38 libraries are in line for cuts.

Maria Plews, the council’s cabinent member for leisure, libraries and lifelong learning, said: “By making changes to our library service we will be able to keep all our libraries open despite the financial pressures we are currently operating under.”

Meanwhile in Wakefield, councillors this week approved plans to create 14 “hub” libraries, alongside 12 which could be run by community groups. Wakefield Council said the changes would offer saving of £800,000 and were based on consultations which showed only 14.5% of residents were regular borrowers.

Wolverhampton City Council is also encouraging people to speak out in a consultation on community hubs, multi-purpose buildings which would merge libraries, community centres and youth facilities. However thousands of people have already signed petitions against the changes, which could see several libraries close. The consultation, which began on August 1st runs until October.