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Proposals for changes to Gateshead library services

Posted on Monday 18 July 2016

Councillors in Gateshead have agreed to consult the public on further changes to Gateshead’s library service.

Five options have been put forward for consideration and include proposals for a Council operated network of six plus the mobile library, seven or eight libraries across the borough that are sustainable into the future and meet the Council’s statutory requirements.

The library service review is being undertaken to meet the Council’s continuing need to make budget reductions, following £130m of saving since 2010, and also to ensure the service meets the changing needs of residents. The proposals take account of library performance and users, proximity, costs and social need.

The decision means that consultation can now get underway to find out how people currently use the service and how the proposed options could affect library users in the future.

Councillor John McElroy, Cabinet Member for Culture, Sport and Leisure said: “Residents are aware of the financial pressures the Council continues to face and this is one reason we need to undertake a further review of the library service. However we also need to take this opportunity to consider how libraries are being used by local people so we can provide a service that is fit for purpose.  

“A series of options have been developed and we would like to encourage as many people as possible to give us their views. There will be a three month public consultation that will ask residents how they use the service and how they might access it in the future. The Council is keen to fully understand the impact of possible changes to the library service. We know that communities greatly value their libraries, but the Council unfortunately needs to consider options for reductions in service.”

The questionnaire will be available in all council run libraries and an online version is now available on the Council’s website at www.gateshead.gov.uk/consultationsnew