Buckinghamshire County Council Cabinet members have shelved plans to reduce library opening hours in Buckinghamshire.
At a meeting, held on Monday 12th February 2018,it was decided that an underspend in a corporate contingency fund will be used to release £140,000 for balancing the libraries budget.
Their decision followed a plea by Noel Brown, the Cabinet Member responsible for libraries, who pointed to the fact that libraries are valuable hubs that were welcomed by communities.
‘These are hubs where community groups gather to socialise,‘ said Noel. ‘They’re no longer places where you just borrow books.‘
The proposal for 2018/19 was to reduce opening hours in nine Buckinghamshire libraries by 37.5 hours a week to save £140,000 in a full year.
But County Council Leader Martin Tett, who described Noel as a massive champion for libraries, said: ‘Libraries offer an enormous range of services and they’re valued immensely by our residents. My concern is that the proposal to further reduce opening hours could tip some into becoming unviable.‘
Cabinet members agreed to recommend to the full County Council meeting to be held on Thursday 22nd February 2018 that the money be used to maintain library opening hours.