Reduction in village library’s opening hours on the horizon

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Opening hours at Ruskington Library will be cut in the coming months if volunteers are not in a position to take up its operation, Lincolnshire County Council has indicated.

Under the authority’s plans, from May 6, the Station Road resource will only be open six hours a week – that is, closed now on Tuesdays, and open between 2pm and 5pm on Thursdays (rather than 1pm to 6pm) and 10am and 1pm on Saturdays (unchanged).

The revised hours would continue until community members were ready to take on the building’s running – and would not go ahead at all if such a situation had been reached by May 6.

Ruskington Library is among a group of so-called “Tier Three” libraries for which the council hopes to find volunteers to take on their running as part of proposals which went out to consultation last year.

Jonathan Platt, head of libraries and heritage, said: “In response to feedback from the consultation, the council agreed to continue running the existing Tier Three libraries at reduced hours for up to a year. This is to give volunteers plenty of time to lay firm foundations for the future.

“During this period, the libraries will be open for around 60 per cent of their current opening hours. Residents appeared to prefer this option to an interim mobile service.”

The reduced hours were discussed at the latest meeting of Ruskington Parish Council, held earlier this month.

Chairman Peter Cunningham said he was “very disappointed” with the times.

Earlier in the meeting, he told members progress was being made on the setting up of a community group, but efforts were being hampered by a lack of detail from the county council on the library’s running costs.