12 March 2018

A proposed strategy and timetable for the future provision of library services is set to be discussed by Northamptonshire County Council’s Cabinet tomorrow (Tuesday).

The strategy would be developed over the next three months, with all libraries in the county remaining open until August 31st 2018.

Community groups who wish to establish an independent library will have until the end of May to submit a formal expression of interest to purchase or take on the leasehold for their local library.

Opening hours

The report to be discussed by Cabinet tomorrow also outlines the proposed opening hours for libraries from April 1st, including an end to Sunday opening at all libraries and for the 21 libraries earmarked for closure a minimum of three days opening a week.

County council cabinet member for public health and wellbeing Cllr Sylvia Hughes said: “I hope that the proposed strategy and timetable for the future delivery of library services will offer some clarity for communities about what will be happening with their local library now that the final budget has been set.

“Over the coming months we will be talking to community groups interested in setting up an independent library and what role we can play in supporting them during the transition period.”

Individual project plans, including timetables for implementation and business plans to demonstrate affordability, will be worked up for each proposed independent library.

For viable project plans, libraries will continue to be staffed until September 30th 2018 enabling the sale or transfer of lease for the building to be completed. In cases where no formal expression of interest is received, staffing would be removed by August 31st.

Stock and support services

Independent libraries will have the option to purchase stock and support from the county council through a service level agreement, or can opt to use another supplier or no supplier at all.

Children’s centre centres will continue to be delivered at existing locations for the next three months, during which time a public consultation will be held on the future provision of universal children’s centre services.

The Cabinet meeting will take place tomorrow at 2pm.

Information about your local library's opening hours can be found on our libraries website.