Huntingdonshire libraries face cut in opening hours as part of savings drive

Huntingdon Library,

Huntingdon Library, - Credit: Archant

Libraries in Huntingdon and St Neots will see their opening hours cut following a review of the services carried out by Cambridgeshire County Council.

The county council needs to save another £500,000 from the library service in Cambridgeshire in the current financial year, having already made £2.5million in savings since 2012, and so launched a review into opening hours in January.

The review ran for more than a month and included a survey asking people whether they would be in favour of cutting the opening hours of some of the county’s main libraries – including in St Neots, Huntingdon, and St Ives.

And, while the survey showed that more than a third of the respondents were against reducing opening hours at the three Huntingdonshire libraries, more than 50 per cent agreed with the change. The remaining respondents neither agreed nor disagreed.

As a result, the county council opted to reduce the opening hours at Huntingdon by four hours – meaning it will be closed on Sunday – and four hours at St Neots – meaning it will now open from 1.30pm on Wednesdays, instead of 9.30am.

The changes will come into effect on Monday (April 25).

After initially considering cutting the opening hours at St Ives Library, the county council decided to leave the opening hours unchanged.

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Jon Anderson, the council’s library transformation manager, said: “We received many useful comments about other aspects of the library service such as ideas and suggestions on how to generate additional income and how to better promote the services we offer.

“We will consider these ideas and suggestions in due course and would like to thank everyone who took the time to contribute to the consultation.”

As part of the cost saving, the county council said money spent on new stock, from books to DVDs, would also be cut.