Funding cut to Peterborough’s libraries reduced during consultation

Peterborough Central Library, Broadway, Peterborough. Photo: Rowland Hobson/Peterborough Telegraph

Peterborough Central Library, Broadway, Peterborough. Photo: Rowland Hobson/Peterborough Telegraph

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Fears over changes to Peterborough’s libraries have led to a funding cut being reduced.

An annual £350,000 saving is to be toned down after Peterborough City Council listened to feedback from concerned residents.

A new model which would introduce self-service technology into Peterborough’s 10 libraries is currently being consulted on.

The model would see libraries open for 50 per cent longer with residents able to use self-service technology when staff are not there.

However, the number of hours the libraries are staffed would reduce from 261 to 149.

Concerns at how the new model would work have already been raised by the Friends of Bretton Library.

Particular concern was raised at using the library when trained staff were not there.

The worries which have cropped up over the new model were addressed on Monday (February 23) by Councillor Lucia Serluca, cabinet member for city centre management, culture and tourism.

Addressing the council cabinet, she said: “As we reach the half-way point of the library consultation the council has listened to comments made through the consultation and from meeting with groups.

“I am recommending that the council invest £45,000 back into the library service, reducing the saving to this service from £350,000 to £305,000.

“This investment will be used to provide receptionist/invigilator posts during Open + hours for the two libraries co-located with schools, Werrington and Orton, to support a full range of community and school activities.

“For Bretton Library, as this library is located on three floors, the investment will enable all three floors to remain open during Open + and enable vital services such as the talking newspaper to expand its hours.

“The fourth post will be deployed at Central Library to meet increasing demand as this is the largest and busiest building across the library network.”