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Proposed consultation on the opening hours of libraries

Lancashire County Council is proposing a public consultation to seek people’s views on how their local libraries’ opening hours could be allocated across the week in future.

If approved by the county council’s cabinet at its meeting on Thursday 14 September, an eight-week consultation would begin on Monday 2 October and run until Sunday 26 November. Views on the proposal would be sought from library users, staff and partner organisations before taking a final decision early next year.

The proposal allocates each library to one of four different bands depending upon local need, so that the library opening hours are proportionate to the population that each library is serving.

The consultation will be asking for comments on the way the opening hours are allocated across the week.

If the proposal goes ahead, libraries across the county will be open for more hours in total than at present.

County Councillor Peter Buckley, Lancashire County Council’s cabinet member for community and cultural services, said: “This proposal to consult on the opening hours follows on from our decision in July to reopen libraries which had previously closed.

“We want to make sure that the service provided to our customers is as streamlined and efficient as possible. We’re proposing changes to when libraries will be open, and overall this would mean them being open for more hours in total across the county. We’ve designed the proposed model according to when we know they’re most used, with the aim of better meeting demand with the resources we have. There will be no difference in the quality of service between bands.

“If the proposal to consult is approved I would encourage everyone involved to let us have their views.”

The model being recommended is:

Band One – Open for 50 hours over six days every week
Band Two – Open for 42 hours over six days every week
Band Three – Open for 34 hours over five days every week
Band Four – Open for 18 hours over four days every week

From Monday 2 October, you will be able to give your views on how your local library’s opening hours are to be allocated across the week by filling in a printed questionnaire which will be available at your local library or from a mobile library. You will also be able to complete an online survey at www.lancashire.gov.uk/haveyoursay, by clicking on Consultations then Library opening hours consultation.

The proposed consultation will apply to the 47 libraries currently open.

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