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Six Telford libraries are saved from the axe

Telford | News | Published:

Six libraries threatened with closure have now been saved – but council bosses say they still need to make major changes in a bid to save £483,000.

Telford & Wrekin Council said services and opening hours could change at the borough's libraries in a bid to plug the gap.

Now, it plans to ask members of the public how they would like to see libraries run.

Earlier this year the council had said it would have to stop running six libraries at Dawley, Donnington, Hadley, Madeley, Newport and Stirchley from April 2017 as it tries to cut £30 million from its budget from reductions in Government grants.

After consultation with residents, the council said it would continue to run Newport and Madeley Library but review opening hours.

Town councils covering Dawley, Donnington and Stirchley libraries along with the the Hadley Learning Community supported by Hadley and Leegomery Parish council agreed to take over the running of their libraries.

Nobody came forward to run the borough's mobile library.

The changes mean that now all the borough's libraries can be kept open, with changes to opening hours, more self-service machines and a charge for services like ancestry searches.

The new consultation, which launches today, is available online and in all libraries and asks people what impact these changes would have on them.

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It also asks how an online library and home delivery service could help residents use the libraries.

A series of roadshows will also be held in libraries across the borough. The consultation runs from June 1 to July 24.

Councillor Liz Clare, cabinet member for culture, sports, parks and green spaces, said: "Our initial proposals would have seen the council stopping running six libraries.

"After listening to the public's feedback in our consultation earlier this year, we are keeping Madeley and Newport libraries open but these and other council libraries will operate differently from how they do now to make the cuts we must find.

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"Before any changes are made, it's important that people give us their views and tell us about any impact these will have on them.

"So whether this is by going online, coming into one of the libraries or talking to us at one of the library roadshow dates, we want to hear your views."

Councillor Lee Carter, cabinet member for finance and partnerships added: "We are very grateful to Great Dawley, Donnington & Muxton, Brookside & Stirchley councils and to HLC, who with financial support from Hadley & Leegomery Council, have all come forward to help to continue a library service in Dawley, Donnington, Hadley and Stirchley.

"Together we are ensuring that all our libraries are staying open."

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