Potters Bar library opening hours slashed

POTTERS Bar’s only library will have its opening hours slashed by almost half, as council chiefs seek to save cash.

Changes to the opening times for all 47 of the county’s libraries were agreed by Hertfordshire County Council’s cabinet members at a meeting yesterday (Monday) – where it was decided Oakmere Library will have its opening times cut by 28 hours – the biggest reduction in Hertsmere.

The library, in High Street, will now close on Thursdays as well as Sundays, and open for just four hours – from 2pm to 6pm – on Tuesdays and Fridays.

Only Saturdays will remain as normal, open from 9am to 4pm.

In total, the council cut the total number of library hours from 2,236 to 1,575.

It is expected to save the council �1.4m a year, with reduced mobile library services saving an additional �275,000.

County councillor Keith Emsall, executive member for community safety and culture, said: “While many councils are planning to close branches completely, we consider that it is very important for our residents to be able to access a library.

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“That’s why no Hertfordshire branch library will shut down, and we have staggered the new timetable so that when your local library isn’t open, a nearby branch will be.

“It hasn’t been possible to maintain our fleet of mobile libraries at current levels, but they will continue to offer a service to isolated and vulnerable users.”

The revised opening times will come into effect once the county council completes a review into cutting library staff.