Library opening hours to be cut

BOOK lovers will have less time to enjoy their hobby at one library. From the end of the month, the library is one of seven in Bedfordshire that will see its opening hours cut as the county council attempts to slash its community services budget. But fear

BOOK lovers will have less time to enjoy their hobby at one library.

From the end of the month, the library is one of seven in Bedfordshire that will see its opening hours cut as the county council attempts to slash its community services budget.

But fears that one job might also be lost have been denied by the council.

The Biggleswade library in Chestnut Avenue will now be closed all day on Thursday. It is currently closed in the morning but the county council has decided to cut a further four and a half hours off the weekly opening hours.


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Six library assistant positions throughout the county are being cut as the community services revenue budget for 2007/2008 will be trimmed by £114,000.

A report by Ian Cooper, assistant director cultural and community services, said: "As a result it has been necessary to identify reductions in hours of some libraries to save the required amount.

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"Due to the level of staffing required for each hour open, the reduction in hours has to come from seven of the largest libraries which are also open for the most hours.

"Discussions with staff and the unions are on-going to deal with changes to staff working arrangements, reduced hours, the deletion of some posts and any redundancy issues."

A member of staff at Biggleswade library, who did not wish to be named, said: "The library here is a well used service.

"From April 30 we will no longer be open on a Thursday which is a shame. The county council is looking at all branches of the library service and we have been told staff could be reduced.

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