Slough library consultation will only ‘reduce services’, Tory councillor claims

Slough library consultation will only ‘reduce services’, Tory councillor claims

An opposition councillor has criticised a consultation over the future of Slough’s libraries for only offering options which will weaken the service.

Slough Borough Council is launching a 12-week consultation which proposes five options for cutting costs for the local authority’s libraries.

These include:

  • Reduce the money available to spend on buying publications (both hard copy and eResources).
  • Keep all the main library buildings open but reduce the opening and staffed hours at Langley and Cippenham and reduce the staffed hours at The Curve and Britwell libraries.
  • Keep all library buildings but reduce the hours they are open, the hours they are staffed, and the space dedicated to the library. Attract other users to rent space in the building (co-location).
  • Move all library services out of the current main library buildings and re-locate services to be delivered from a range of other locations across the borough.
  • Close both Langley and Cippenham library buildings but maintain the staffing and opening hours at The Curve library and at Britwell library.

Councillor Chandra Muvvala (Con, Langley Kedermister) said: “The consultation is clearly about reducing services but not about improving the library services.

“All the options we have are either to reduce the hours, reduce the staff or close the buildings.

“There’s no option for improving the services.”

Council leader James Swindlehurst said: “People are cynical about consultations and think we have decided an answer before we go out which is absolutely not the case in this instance.

“This isn’t solely driven by money, we do need to make savings but we want to make sure the thing is doing its job for the money we spend on it.”

The consultation is set to launch on October 28. Visit www.slough.gov.uk/libraryconsultation to find out more.

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