Derbyshire County Council launches public consultation on opening hours for Whaley Bridge library

Derbyshire County Council has launched a public consultation on reducing opening hours for Whaley Bridge library as part of an effort to meet a £1.6million budget cut for the service.

Tuesday, 20th July 2021, 11:34 am

The authority is proposing to reduce hours at the library from 23.5 hours per week to 18 hours per week, bringing it into line with other county libraries which have already seen hours reduced.

The proposal is part of a county-wide strategy agreed in 2018 which has also seen some libraries handed over to be run by community groups – but no organisation came forward to take on Whaley Bridge meaning the council had to look at other ways to cut costs.

Council leader Barry Lewis said: “Many changes have already been successfully implemented as part of the Libraries for Derbyshire programme and we have worked hard to ensure they have caused minimum disruption to users of the service.

Are you happy to see the doors to Whaley Bridge library shut open for fewer hours every week? (Image: Google)

“This consultation is necessary as we need to bring consistency to opening hours at all our libraries and drive the plans forward, and it is important that people who use Whaley Bridge library have their say.”

He added: “Our aim remains the same, to ensure we have a thriving library service that suits the people who use it, and reflects the different ways they use it, including embracing new technology.

“I’ve always said no libraries will close on my watch and we will shortly be relaunching our drive to engage with communities and encourage them to work together with us to ensure the service goes from strength to strength.”

The library is currently open on Monday, 2-7pm; Tuesday and Thursday, 10am to 1pm, and 2-5pm; Friday, 10am to 1pm; and Saturday, 9.30am to 1pm.

The six-week consultation sets out two options for opening times and days, with both totalling 18 hours, and asks residents to state which one they agree or disagree with.

People can also give reasons for their choices and comment in open text boxes on the online consultation form.

Paper copies of the consultation will also be available from the library or can be sent by phoning the library on 01629 533354 during its opening hours. The consultation closes on Sunday, August 29.

In these confusing and worrying times, local journalism is more vital than ever. Thanks to everyone who helps us ask the questions that matter by taking out a subscription or buying a paper. We stand together.” – Louise Cooper, editor.