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New opening hours planned for Preston and Lancashire libraries

Posted on - 18th September, 2017 - 12:00pm | Author - | Posted in - Fulwood, Ingol, Lostock Hall, Penwortham, Politics, Preston News, Ribbleton

Ingol library would be open for more hours under the proposals

Ingol library would be open for more hours under the proposals

The hours libraries in Preston and Lancashire open could soon be changing.

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Lancashire County Council has proposed ranking libraries by four different grades to standardise their opening hours.

It would see the largest and busiest libraries being open for 50 hours over six days each week.

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An eight-week consultation is running to get the views of library users, staff and organisations about the new hours.

The report to the county council’s cabinet shows the Harris would be classed as a band A* library but see its opening hours cut by two hours per week to 55 hours from 57.

Jon Finch says he wants to bring the Harris
The Harris library, despite being one of the largest in the county, would see its hours reduced Pic: Tony Worrall

Ingol library would see its hours increase from 31 and a half hours to 34 hours, classed as a band C. Ribbleton also becomes a band C and increases to 34 hours from 28. Sharoe Green would see four extra hours, up to 34 hours per week.

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Kingsfold library sees an increase of four and a half hours as a band B library, up to 42 hours from 37 and a half.

Two libraries due to be reopened from November, Fulwood and Lostock Hall, would be classed as band Bs and both open for 42 hours-a-week. Both shorter opening hours per week than when previously open.

Across Lancashire the total weekly opening hours of libraries would increase to 1,859 hours from 1,847.

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Cabinet member for community and cultural services county councillor Peter Buckley said: “This proposal 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 opening hours are:

Band A – Open for 50 hours over six days every week
Band B – Open for 42 hours over six days every week
Band C – Open for 34 hours over five days every week
Band D – Open for 18 hours over four days every week

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The consultation on opening hours runs from Monday 2 October to Sunday 26 November.

You can give your views on the county council website.

And a breakdown of which library falls into which proposed band can be found on the county council website.

What do you think of the proposed opening hours? Let us know in the comments below

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