Screen Shot 2016-01-13 at 15.33.30In 2016/17 Newcastle City Council has to make a significant saving of nearly £1 million across its library and customer services network to meet the required austerity cuts.

One of the proposed ways of achieving the reduction is to reduce opening times for libraries and customer service centres, but more importantly, the proposals won’t result in any building closures.

The proposals amount to the following potential changes (current and proposed opening hours):

Gosforth Library / 60.5 hours reduced to 23 hours
East End Library and Centre Customer Service Centre / 58 hours reduced to 23 hours
Outer West Library and Centre Customer Service Centre / 54 hours reduced to 23 hours
West End Library and Centre Customer Service Centre / 54 hours reduced to 23 hours
Fenham Library / 41.5 hours reduced to 18.5 hours
Kenton Library / 51.5 hours reduced to 23 hours
Newburn Library / 35.75 hours reduced to 18.5 hours
Walker Library / 43 hours reduced to 23 hours
City Library / 69 hours reduced to 49 hours
Newcastle Civic Centre Customer Service Centre / 40 hours reduced to 37.5 hours

Cllr David Stockdale, cabinet member for communities and facilities, said: “The huge cuts to Newcastle City Council’s budget forced on us by government spending reductions and rising costs means we have to find ways of making savings across our library and customer service network, as we do across the entire Council.

“Despite the horrendous budget savings we have to meet, I have been clear that we will not close any of our customer service centres or libraries.  Reducing opening hours, although disappointing, is the only way we have been able to meet the savings required and save our customer service centres and libraries from closure.  Our libraries and customer service centres are vital resources and an important statement of what we stand for as a city. I hope residents will support the decision to save all of our customer service centres and libraries from closure by reducing opening hours.

“The proposed revised opening hours are now out for consultation and I hope residents will look at what has been suggested and share their local on-the-ground knowledge to help us refine the proposals.  I have also invited all councillors across the City to share their knowledge of the local libraries and customer service centres, and in the areas they represent to help in this process.”

Next week there will be three consultation meetings across the City that people can attend to discuss the potential savings proposals.

West End Customer Service Centre and Library / Monday 18th January / 18.30
City Library, Bewick Hall / Tuesday 19th January / 18.30
Gosforth Library / Thursday 21st January / 18.30

For further information about Newcastle Libraries and Customer Service Centres including the current opening times please visit the City Council’s websitewww.newcastle.gov.uk