Library opening hours to reduce
The Tunbridge Wells Town Forum have asked us to inform our members about a consultation on proposed changes to our local libraries. KCC is planning cutting the opening hours of libraries across the borough and residents have an opportunity until 29 January 2019 to participate in the consultation. Libraries often serve as the hub of the community and to reduce their hours will impact on local residents. Below is a statement from the Cabinet Member for Community and Regulatory Services – Cllr Mike Hill OBE:
Kent County Council (KCC) is very proud of its Library, Registration and Archives (LRA) service and all it does to deliver positive outcomes for the residents of Kent. The LRA service is at the heart of communities throughout the county. Through our services you can access books, information and IT, register births and deaths, explore Kent’s rich history and celebrate key life events.
These are tough financial times for all local authorities. Services must continue to be more cost effective and savings need to be made. We aim to do this while maintaining our full network of libraries, our magnificent archive centre and our five register offices. I believe passionately in the important role all three services play for communities by making a real difference to people’s lives.
The service does need to adapt to the changes in how we are all living and reflect current demands. That means aligning our library opening hours with how they are being used to make sure they are open when people need them, and working with communities and partners to ensure these key public buildings are being used to their full potential.
To meet the challenges of the financial climate, and a rapidly changing county, we have produced this three year strategy. It is designed to harness the potential of the service and give it a clear direction for the future.
We want to know what you think of the draft strategy and our proposal to tier our libraries and review opening hours. No decisions have yet been taken and I want to hear your views before making a final decision.
The consultation will run from Wednesday 21 November to Tuesday 29 January 2019 and I encourage everyone to consider and tell us what you think by filling out the strategy questionnaire.
You can find the documentation of the KCC website by following this link. You can also comment directly on the website.