Leeds & West Yorkshire

Kirklees Council library service consultation begins

A public consultation into the future of library services in Kirklees has begun as the council looks to cut £2.5m from its budget by 2018.

The council says it needs to find new ways to run its 26 libraries in order to reduce spending on the service from £5.7m to £3.2m in the next three years.

Among the proposals are plans to hand libraries over to groups of volunteers.

The council has cut its overall budget by £83m since 2011 but needs to save a further £69m by 2017/18.

The 12-week consultation runs until 10 April.

Councillor Graham Turner, cabinet member for resources, said: "The economic downturn has meant that the library service will now have to deliver services with a much reduced budget and we need to look at new ways of working to ensure we maintain an efficient and comprehensive service."

The council has proposed three models for running its libraries; town Libraries, staffed by two or more paid employees and supported by volunteers; community supported libraries, staffed by one paid member of staff and supported by volunteers; and community managed libraries, which would be managed and staffed by volunteers with support from town libraries.

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