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Council opens consultation on Library changes

Published on 09 June 2021 04:40 PM

Bolton’s residents could see Library opening hours cut in order to accommodate savings after the council agreed with the government to make savings of over £70 million by the end of the 2022-2023 financial year.

Residents have been asked to have their say on the proposed changes to the Libraries and Museums Service as Bolton Council aims to meet its savings targets.

Under the new proposals, all the borough’s libraries will be kept open but with some reductions in opening hours and neighbourhood collections.

Anyone who lives, works or studies in the borough can take part in the online consultation which will run for 45 days, closing on the 21st July.

In February this year, the council agreed savings of £37.2m for 2021-3 with £32.3m in 2021/22 and £4.9m in 2022/23.

It means that the Libraries and Museums Service must find savings of £430,000 and the reduction of library opening hours will help reduce both staffing costs and utility bills.

The council’s Libraries and Museums Service operates 10 libraries, Bolton Museum, the History Centre, Bolton Aquarium, the historic halls and a number of neighbourhood services.

Bolton Council’s Executive Cabinet Member with responsibility for Libraries and Museums, Cllr Hilary Fairclough said:

“We know how valuable libraries are to local communities and the council is committed to proving an excellent Libraries and Museums Service. We are not closing any of our facilities, but we are proposing to reduce the opening hours to keep down costs.

This is not something we do lightly, and we welcome your opinions on the proposal. No final decision will be taken until we have heard from people who use the service, and all responses will be taken into account.”

Paper copies of the proposal are also available in all borough libraries.