Library opening hours cut

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LIBRARY opening hours are to be cut in a bid to keep them open.

New opening times are set to be introduced in libraries across County Durham from January.

Durham County Council says the move will make required savings of £1.457million, without the need to close any library buildings.

All of its 12 town centre libraries, excluding Clayport in Durham City, will open for a core of 36 hours per week, with the council’s 27 community libraries operating a core of 20 hours.

The changes follow a public consultation earlier this year, which saw more than 91 per cent of Citizen’s Panel members support proposals to reduce opening hours rather than close libraries.

Councillor Maria Plews, xabinet member for leisure, libraries and lifelong learning, said: “These changes are necessary if we are to make the savings required of us.

“I am pleased that we have been able to involve users of the library service throughout the process, both in influencing our overall strategy and in deciding on specific opening times for their local facility.”