Public vote will decide Warwickshire libraries’ opening times

PEOPLE in Warwickshire have been asked to have their say about future opening times at the county’s main libraries.

Opening hours have been cut at all libraries and some will lose funding altogether as part of £2 million budget cuts at Warwickshire County Council’s library service.

With overall hours cut, the authority this week began a consultation inviting the public to decide on the pattern of opening times from April 2012.

People have until Sunday December 11 to give their views on opening times at libraries in Kenilworth, Leamington, ◦Lillington, Southam, ◦Wellesbourne and Whitnash.

A survey document, available from libraries or on the internet, offers two options for each library. The majority vote will decide each library’s hours.

For Kenilworth and Leamington libraries, these divide into opening from 9am and closing at 5.30pm or opening and closing half an hour later. Only Leamington library will be open on Sundays.

In Southam, library users will have the choice of opening for eight hours each on Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday and three hours on Saturdays, or having shorter hours each day but remaining open on Wednesdays.

At Wellesbourne library, there is a similar option, with closures proposed either on Tuesdays and Thursdays or only on Thursdays.

Whitnash library users have a choice of opening hours of between three and five hours each day or having longer opening times on Mondays and Tuesdays but closure on Thursdays.

Cllr Colin Hayfield, who is responsible for libraries, said: “We have taken the decision that our customers will decide the opening hours of the libraries.

“I’d therefore encourage as many people as possible to engage with this consultation, either via the web, or by popping in to your local library and completing a survey.”

Warwick District Council’s executive committee was this week due to discuss plans to keep ‘one stop shop’ libraries which share its staff open for longer.

There is no consultation regarding Warwick library, where opening times will match those of Shire Hall.

The new opening hours will be introduced from March 31. More details are available online.