A report will be considered by cabinet next week, 23 January 2014, exploring ways of safeguarding a customer services and library presence across the county in line with reduced council funding.
This will report will consider how library and customer services can be delivered from April 2015.
Initial decisions taken by Cabinet in September 2013 have led to the establishment of some community libraries and a reduction in hours for a number of the library and customer service centres in the county. The decision in September also signaled the need for further work to be carried out to understand the options available to ensure that, as council resources reduce still further in the coming three years, and where communities wish to see these services retained in their areas, this can be achieved.
Cllr Patricia Morgan, cabinet member for corporate services said “For some years now, Herefordshire has adopted an innovative policy of co-locating libraries with customer service centres. This has helped with running costs and will stand us in good stead as we further develop this model to cope with ever reducing funds.
“This will involve more centralised professional support, use of self service, increased use of the internet, support of volunteers and user groups, opportunities for trading and possibly local financial support. This work will be facilitated over the coming year and will deliver a library and customer service suitable for the needs of communities now and in the future”.
The report will enable cabinet to make an informed choice when deciding the wider budget savings needed across the whole range of local authority services and in consideration of the council priorities to safeguard children, young people and vulnerable adults boost the local economy, create jobs and build new homes.
Details can be vewed here in the full cabinet report.