Library plan to go before councillors in Cambridgeshire

Plans for a radical shake-up of the county council library service in Cambridgeshire to help save £3.2m are to go before councillors.

The council says it hopes the proposals will protect library services as much as possible.

A report to the council recommends a number of options including the transfer of the library service to a charitable trust.

The council's cabinet committee will discuss the plans on 25 January.

Other options in the report which council officers are asked to look at include more co-operation with nearby local authorities in library provision and more self service machines in libraries.

'Toughest choices'

It also looks at local communities playing a greater role in running libraries.

The options being proposed follow a survey of local people on the plans.

It found that nearly half of the 5,600 people responding to the survey would volunteer to help at libraries.

Sir Peter Brown, the council's cabinet member for communities, said: "We are facing some of the toughest financial choices ever.

"But Cambridgeshire County Council is clear that libraries are vital community hubs that we need to support as much as we can and work together to keep them open.

"There is much we all can do together to reduce costs and transform the library service but communities must be encouraged to continue to play their part if they want services to remain."

The need to cut costs in the library service follows the reduction in the government grant to local authorities.

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