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Telford & Wrekin libraries shake-up is under public scrutiny

Telford | News | Published:

A month-long consultation into controversial plans to slash opening hours at libraries across Telford & Wrekin was launched today.

A month-long consultation into controversial plans to slash opening hours at libraries across Telford & Wrekin was launched today.

It comes in the light of plans by Telford & Wrekin Council to reduce opening hours as part of cost-cutting plans to bridge what chiefs say is a £20 million funding gap next year. People will be asked to comment on opening hours, book stock and other ways of using libraries.

They will also be asked to consider what services should be in libraries.

The budget for buying books is likely to be cut, so residents will be asked what their reading preferences are and what books the money should be spent on.

The final part of the consultation will ask residents about further developing the virtual library, the home library service and the award-winning mobile library.

Readers visiting libraries will be asked to complete a short questionnaire to give their views on the proposed changes and on what they want from their library.

The consultation runs until February 26.

Councillor Arnold England, cabinet member for leisure and well-being at Telford & Wrekin Council, said: "These cuts are now reaching the library service, but we are confident our plans will continue to provide a high-class service to all our customers and residents.

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"I urge anyone who uses the library, whether they are regular customers or not, to join in with the consultation and let us have your views.

"I also encourage those residents who are not already customers to get involved and respond to us as we want to know what we can do to get all people in the borough making use of the services that the library offers."

Plans include the designation of Telford, Wellington, Newport and Madeley as main libraries as figures show they account for 75 per cent of all visits.

Libraries in Dawley, Donnington, Hadley, Oakengates and Stirchley would become 'neighbourhood' libraries with services refined to meet the needs of their communities.

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