Welwyn Hatfield mobile library service to be scrapped and library opening hours cut

PUBLISHED: 17:29 27 October 2010

Welwyn Garden City Library

Welwyn Garden City Library

Archant

MOBILE library services in Welwyn Hatfield will to be scrapped under proposals for a “transformation” of services.

The services will go as part of a bid to rein in public spending as the cuts begin to bite.

It is hoped that by scrapping the run, which makes several stops throughout the week in WGC and Hatfield, and other urban routes across the county, will save the county council £275,000.

The council says further cost-cutting measures are needed despite making “efficiency savings rising to over £110m a year”.

The Hertford route, which includes Welham Green and Potters Bar, has been spared.

Opening hours at branch libraries will also face “significant reductions”, which could affect libraries in Brookmans Park, Cuffley, Goffs Oak, Hatfield, Knebworth, Oakmere (Potters Bar), WGC, Welwyn, and Woodhall.

The cut in opening hours means that Hertfordshire’s libraries would open for a total of 1,575 hours per week rather than the current 2,236 hours per week. The council says the move would save £1.4m.

Cllr Keith Emsall, executive member for community safety and culture, said: “The proposed changes to opening hours and to mobile library routes allow us to make the savings we need while having the minimum impact on users.

“When our economic circumstances improve we can consider whether to increase the opening hours once again.”

Council leader Robert Gordon said: “While many councils are planning library closures, we recognise how important it is for all residents to have convenient access to a library.

“The financial realities forced us to consider significant reductions in opening hours instead.”

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