Exmouth library hours cut by 10 per cent

Exmouth library will be closed for the equivalent of an extra half day every week to save cash.

County chiefs have backed reduced hours for most of Devon’s 50 libraries, to be phased in between September and March.

Exmouth Library currently opens 48 hours a week – but the new schedule will be for 43 hours, a 10 per cent cut.

It follows a public consultation that drew 714 replies from Exmouth’s 7,376 active borrowers who borrowed 157,410 items last year.

It is not known if the cut, which will be phased in simultaneously with a new a self-service system, will result in the loss of daytime or evening services.

Steve Dace chief officer of Age Concern Exmouth said that a reduction in hours would hit the elderly:

“Older and retired people who use library services do so because they want to do it, not necessarily because they need it to boost their careers.

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“It represents a social event. Age Concern Exmouth would urge the librarians who decide on what the hours will be to consult with appropriate groups to better determine what suits their patrons.”

A county council spokesman said: “We’re not as far down the line yet as to be able to say how this will translate to day to day opening hours.

“That’s now got to be the subject of consultation with staff about how we can deliver these new hours, while not forgetting the responses we’ve had back in the consultation from library users who have shown us when they use the libraries.”

Devon’s cabinet member for libraries, Cllr Roger Croad said: “We are committed to keeping our libraries open…however savings do have to be made.”