Library service shake-up planned in Cambridgeshire

A radical shake-up of the library service in Cambridgeshire is being considered as councillors face the need to make more than £2m of savings.

The county council has announced it is looking at forming a trust to take over the running of libraries or even handing them to a third party.

The report to the council's cabinet on 20 July says the authority wants to reduce " the need to close libraries".

The council's library department needs to save £2.2m over three years.

'Review of services'

Sir Peter Brown, cabinet member for communities, said: "It is very clear the national finances are in a mess and unfortunately public services are helping to foot most of that bill.

"Rather than a knee jerk reaction or simple cuts to libraries we have reviewed our service very carefully.

"I am extremely clear that we need to transform the way we do things so we can keep delivering high quality services to our communities rather than chopping and closing facilities.

"Our libraries have some of the best facilities in the country and we want them to remain at the heart of our communities where possible but we also have to meet these tough saving targets."

Councillors are also being asked to support an urgent review of library provision in Cambridge and the surrounding area.

The proposals include maintaining the mobile services to every stop they currently serve.

However, to meet the savings needed, it is proposed to reduce the frequency of service.

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