Denbighshire County Council’s consultation about the reduction in hours to the library and one stop shop service closed at the end of October. The consultation generated a record-breaking 4,600 responses, which equates to nearly 5% of Denbighshire’s population. A paper with recommendations for the next steps will go to Cabinet for a decision on 19 December.
The consultation proposed a 50% reduction in hours to Denbighshire’s Library and One Stop Shop Service. This proposal meant that all eight Council run libraries would remain open to deliver services to residents, albeit for fewer hours per Library/One Stop Shop.
Councillor Emrys Wynne, Lead Member for Welsh Language, Culture and Heritage said, “We’d like to thank everyone who took the time to participate in this consultation. The large response rate demonstrates the strong feelings about this proposal and Officers will now take time to consider everyone’s feedback before it is given full consideration at Cabinet’s December meeting.
“As a Council, we are saddened that we have to consider reducing frontline services, but this is the harsh reality of the current economic climate. While this proposal is unpopular, it would ensure that the service continues in all Denbighshire Libraries/One Stop Shops which gives us hope that we can return to a full service in a more favourable economic climate.”
Last month, Denbighshire County Council warned that it faces significant budgetary pressures due to rising costs and demand for services. Despite an expected increase in funding of £5.6m (3%) by Welsh Government, this still leaves a funding gap of £20.4m. The Council, like Local Authorities throughout Wales, must find significant savings and Cabinet has asked services across the authority to put forward proposals for consideration.