York & North Yorkshire

North Yorkshire library service merger plan approved

Plans to axe 36 jobs and merge two libraries in North Yorkshire have been approved by the county council's executive board.

The existing 42 branch libraries are to be retained, but the Malton and Norton libraries will merge.

The measures include plans to run 41 libraries with the remaining staff, or volunteers, or a combination of both.

The library service currently has the equivalent of 177 full-time posts, and needs to cut £1.7m from its budget.

'Radical reform'

Julie Blaisdale, assistant director of library services, said the reforms had been a lengthy process.

"We've found a lot of people are very keen on the library service, we've had no shortage of volunteers to run libraries," she added.

A "radical reform" of opening hours is to be introduced at 33 of the branches.

A public consultation period on the plans ran from December 2010 to February 2011.

The consultation received 6,200 written responses and 20 public meetings were held.

The council previously announced that 10 out of 11 mobile libraries in North Yorkshire are to disappear as part of the cuts.

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