Future of Grantham Library decided

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Lincolnshire County Council’s cabinet has voted to implement proposals which will change the way the county’s libraries will be run.

The proposals, approved this morning, will see opening hours at Grantham Library, one of the county’s largest services, reduced from the current 55 hours to 48 hours.

From May 6, the library, in the Isaac Newton Shopping Centre, will close earlier in the evenings on weekdays, losing an hour on Mondays and Tuesdays to close at 5pm, losing two hours on Wednesdays to close at 5pm, losing one hour on Thursdays to close at 6pm, and losing two hours on Fridays to close at 5pm. Saturdays will be unaffected.

Elsewhere, ‘community-hubs’ will be run by volunteers, supported by the council until March 31 2015.

The county council will also continue running its mobile service and discretion will be given to community officers when planning routes to maximise the reach of its service in rurlal areas.

Councillor Nick Worth, executive member for libraries, said: “I’m really pleased because we have come out with the potential for more static libraries than we started with and we are saving £1.73 million and we will still have a comprehensive and efficient service.

“It’s been a civilised discussion right the way through. We had some interesting consultation events but that’s the nature of those events.

“I think we’ve been through a good process. There are always flaws in any process but it has been a very comprehensive consultation.

“I like to think we have taken on a lot of feedback in terms of providing additional services, additional support for community hubs and ending up with a library service which is providing more libraries than we started with.”

The council will now be spending £4.3million on its library service compared to its current budget for 2013/14 which is set at £6.08million.

There will be a reduction in staffing of an estimated 102 posts across the county - equivalent to 35.5 full-time positions.