Herefordshire Council’s Cabinet met on Thursday 19 September 2013, to discuss the future of the county’s museums, libraries and customer service centres.
The proposals discussed reducing opening hours and staffing levels across the county, whilst considering partnership and trust opportunities, which will ensure core services are maintained in Herefordshire. The proposals are predicted to save in excess of £650,000 over the next three years with £239,274 from the museum and heritage service and £425,000 from libraries and customer service centres.
The proposal for libraries and customer service centres was influenced by the views of nearly 3,500 people, who took the time to complete the council’s impact study, which ran for five weeks in July and August. The study ascertained how people access council services and what would happen if those services were removed.
Councillor Roger Phillips, cabinet member for enterprise and culture, said: “We were pleased that so many people across the county took the time to provide their views about reductions to cultural services. This created an overview of how and when people use our facilities and the difference a reduced or withdrawn service would make in their community.
“The proposals approved by Cabinet will ensure that we still deliver a service to our communities, whilst saving the council money in a time of immense financial constraints. It will also see communities becoming more involved in their libraries and utilising them as a space for everyone to enjoy.
“We will be discussing options with parish councils for the transfer of Colwall, Leintwardine and Weobley to community libraries.”