Revised proposals for future of Lincolnshire libraries

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Revised proposals for the future of Lincolnshire libraries have been published.

In light of the feedback received during a 13-week consultation, a number of changes have been made to the original proposals. Full details on the final proposals can now be found online at www.lincolnshire.gov.uk/librariesconsultation.

Coun Nick Worth, Executive Member for Libraries, said: “One thing that was clear from the consultation was that rural communities valued their mobile services, so 146 more mobile stops have been included in the revised proposals.

“So far, we’ve had expressions of interest for 24 existing libraries, as well as seven communities wanting to create brand new facilities. That means under these plans we’re likely to end up with even more static libraries than we started with.

“These community-run libraries were preferred to mobile services in the consultation. However, there were concerns about their long-term viability, so under the revised proposals we would give communities additional support and time, helping them lay firm foundations for the future.

“Younger people said that they wanted to see online services developed further, so that is something we’re going to explore. We also believe it may be possible to increase the number of computers available in the proposed fifteen Tier 1 and 2 public libraries.”

“We realise there were people who wanted services to remain as they are, but with £2m less to spend that won’t be possible.

“However, under the revised proposals we would extend the deadline for expressions of interest so communities have a second chance to put in a bid.”

He welcomed the revisions: “If adopted they would enable us to respond to concerns raised within the consultation but would still mean that we continue to provide a comprehensive library service across the county, but one that is far more efficient, giving much better value for money.”

The revised proposals will be discussed by the Community and Public Safety Scrutiny Committee on December 2, before a final decision is taken by the Executive on December 3.

Community libraries at Ruskington and Metheringham are under threat from the proposals unless volunteer groups come forward with a viable action plan to take them over.