library - Nantwich Library (Google)

Residents can have their say on controversial plans to cut library services in Cheshire East.

Cheshire East Council is consulting on its revised proposals aimed at making budget savings over the next four years.

The council is proposing to reduce the current opening hours of libraries across the borough, and cut funding for the purchase of new books and newspapers.

It will mean venues like Nantwich Library will bee closed for at least 1.5 days during the week.

The consultation, which will run until 9 July, follows the approval of the council’s Medium Term Financial Strategy (MTFS) in February, which includes proposals for how the council will balance its budget for the next four years.

Cllr Mick Warren, chair of Cheshire East Council’s environment and communities committee, said: “This year, the development of a balanced budget and four-year financial plan for the council was made more difficult in the face of ongoing and significant national funding and cost pressures, including unprecedented inflation, alongside increased complexity, and demand for services.

“There is a £20m funding gap we need to fill, while also ensuring that we can continue to provide essential frontline services and deliver on our ambitions and priorities over the coming years.

“Proposals for the libraries service were included in the draft MTFS, which was consulted on in January.

“Having listened to the feedback gathered during that process, the amount of savings to be made from the library service has now been reduced, which means that people will still be able to access libraries on Saturdays and in the evenings, and the mobile library service will also not be reduced.

“But while we have been able to take action based on the feedback we received and of course recognise how valuable libraries are to local communities, savings must be made, and we have no choice but to change the way in which we operate our services.

“The proposals we are now consulting on mean that all our libraries can continue to offer the wide range of services they provide – alongside the wealth of online resources and services available digitally – but ensure that we can also make the necessary savings the council must deliver to protect essential services.”

The council says its proposal takes into account usage data for each site including visitor numbers, number of books issued and computer usage.

The consultation also asks for views on how the council can generate more income to enable libraries to be kept open for longer, and for comments on how library provision should be delivered in local areas.

The council is also seeking expressions of interest from town and parish councils to explore ways of working together to deliver library services.

To take part in the consultation, visit:

Paper copies of the consultation can also be found at each library.

One Comment

  1. So if you are making all these savings you won’t need all my council tax! I think I will start making my own savings.
    If there is a £20 million deficiency then try reclaiming the £20 million owed by non payers or better still sell B&Q, wasn’t that around that figure?

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