The Library Service in Central Bedfordshire has been asked to make efficiency savings of £85,000. This means that overall the service will be reducing its opening hours by 30 hours a week.
As part of the proposed changes the Library Service is also trying to find ways of opening libraries to communities outside normal opening hours so as to make the best use of the buildings. This includes evenings and weekends. Buildings could be used for activities such as health advice sessions, local meetings, or adult education. This is part of the council’s objectives in the Five Year Plan to foster self sustaining communities and support people to help themselves and others.
These proposals mean that no library in Central Bedfordshire will be closed. All libraries will retain professionally paid staff.
A consultation is open now until 5 September 2016 and members of the public are asked for their opinions.
Among the proposals, Dunstable (main library) hours would be revised to: Tuesday - Friday 9am - 6pm and
Saturday 9am - 4pm (a loss of 5 hours a week). And Houghton Regis hours would be adjusted to Tuesday - Friday 9am - 6pm and Saturday 9am - 1pm ( a loss of 6.5 hours a week)
You can have your say by completing the questionnaire at http://www.centralbedfordshire.gov.uk/surveys/libraryopeninghours/changes_to_library_opening_hours2016.htm
Further information, and a downloadable questionnaire is available online at http://www.centralbedfordshire.gov.uk/council/consultations/library-hours/overview.aspx