“Better use” probe for Sidmouth and Ottery libraries

PUBLISHED: 15:30 28 March 2011

SIDMOUTH and Ottery St Mary libraries won’t close as a result of county council spending cuts- say bosses who this week launched a probe into how the hubs can be “better used” in their communities.

SIDMOUTH and Ottery St Mary libraries won’t close as a result of county council spending cuts, say bosses who this week launched a probe into how the hubs can be “better used” in their communities.

Devon County Council (DCC) confirmed no library in the region will shut as a result of an unprecedented reduction in its government grant.

Authority chiefs hope a public consultation will highlight how residents will use their libraries in the future in a bid to “maximise access”.

A survey that will run throughout April aims to ask residents how and when they use libraries and what ideas they have to ensure the buildings could be better used by communities for other purposes.

DCC says it wants to match local opening hours to demand and ensure resources are focused on busier times so people can access services when they need them most. Residents will also be asked how they think communities could better support their libraries, and for ideas on how they could be better used by communities for other purposes in order to make full use of the buildings.

Councillor Stuart Barker, DCC cabinet member for libraries, said: “This is about how and when people want to use libraries in the future and how we can develop them to offer more services. Its not about closures. By sharing costs with other services we can make better use of available resources.

“The results of this consultation are an important next stage in modernising the service and in ensuring libraries reflect what local communities need.”

Surveys are available at Sidmouth and Ottery libraries or can be completed online at www.devon.gov.uk/libraries.


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