Libraries feel full force of cutbacks

Clay Cross Library.
Clay Cross Library.
0
Have your say

COUNCILLORS have agreed to slash the opening hours of several libraries across Derbyshire in a bid to save cash.

None will shut in the shake-up, backed by all members of Derbyshire County Council’s Cabinet on Tuesday, although 30 libraries will have shorter opening hours of up to five hours per week.

And the authority’s mobile libraries will visit seven communities – including North Wingfield, Grassmoor, Hasland, Tibshelf, Codnor and Bradwell – on a fortnightly basis, rather than a weekly basis, enabling it to axe one of the vehicles from its fleet.

The cutbacks are part of moves to save £1.76m in the council’s cultural and community services department.

A Derbyshire County Council spokesman said the changes – which will come into effect “as soon as possible” – may result in “some staff” working fewer hours.

But Cllr Andrew Lewer, leader of the authority, said: “We’ve taken a different approach to other authorities – some have decided to close libraries.”

Speaking after the meeting, Cllr Ann Western, leader of the Labour Group, said: “I don’t think this signals the beginning of the end for our libraries, but we are seeing a lot of changes that affect people.”

In the Derbyshire Times patch, affected libraries include:

Alfreton will close Monday 5pm to 7pm, a reduction of two hours per week;

Bolsover will close Monday 5pm to 7pm, a reduction of two hours per week;

Brimington will close at 5pm on Tuesday, Thursday and Friday, open at 1.30pm on Friday and close at 12.30pm on Saturday, a reduction of one-and-a-half hours per week;

Clay Cross will close Thursday 5pm to 7pm and Saturday 1pm to 4pm, a reduction of five hours per week;

Clowne will close Friday 5pm to 7pm, a reduction of two hours per week;

Creswell will close Monday 5pm to 7pm, a reduction of two hours per week;

Dronfield will close Wednesday 5pm to 7pm, a reduction of two hours per week;

Eckington will close Monday 5.30pm to 7pm and Saturday 12.30pm, a reduction of two hours per week;

Holmewood will close Friday 2pm to 5pm, a reduction of three hours per week;

Killamarsh will close Monday, Thursday and Friday 5pm and open until 7pm on Wednesday, a reduction of two hours per week;

Pinxton will close Friday 2pm to 5pm, a reduction of three hours per week;

Shirebrook will close Monday 5pm to 7pm and Saturday 1pm to 4pm, a reduction of five hours per week;

Staveley will close Thursday 5pm to 7pm, a reduction of two hours per week;

Whitwell will close Monday 5pm to 7pm, a reduction of two hours per week;

Tideswell will close Monday 5pm to 7pm, a reduction of two hours per week;

Wirksworth will close Friday 5pm to 7pm and upon at 9am on Saturday, a reduction of one-and-a-half-hours per week.

At four libraries, including Newbold, there will be a slight increase in opening hours, while at seven libraries, including Chesterfield, there will be no changes to opening hours.

As reported in the Derbyshire Times in January, Tory-run Derbyshire County Council has to cut spending by £90m and lose 2,000 jobs by 2015 because of the squeeze on public spending.

• What are your thoughts on these cutbacks? Email comment@derbyshiretimes.co.uk.

michael.broomhead

@derbyshiretimes.co.uk