Central Bedfordshire Council will increase overall opening hours across all of its 12 libraries and include a Saturday afternoon service after consulting with customers and listening to their feedback.
The authority had last year consulted on a proposal to reduce opening by a total of 30 hours per week in order to meet an £85,000 efficiency target, identified in their Medium Term Financial Plan.
This savings target has now been reduced to £56,000 and the council has realigned opening hours across the board so that eight of Central Bedfordshire’s libraries will now see either an increase in opening times or no reduction at all.
However, there will be a reduction in opening hours for four libraries to bring them in line with the rest of the estate.
From October 1, libraries in Central Bedfordshire will be placed into three categories.
Community Libraries: Ampthill, Barton, Potton, Stotfold and Toddington
Area Libraries: Biggleswade, Flitwick, Houghton Regis, Sandy and Shefford
Main Libraries: Dunstable and Leighton Buzzard
This means that:
Community Libraries will operate for 17 hours more than at present. Area Libraries will operate for 13 hours more than at present.
All libraries will open on Saturday afternoons. Community Libraries will open on both afternoons and mornings during the week. All libraries will close on Mondays