Library hours to be cut

Exmouth and Budleigh Salterton’s libraries will both close for a whole extra day during the week in a bid to slash �2m a year across the county.

Devon County Council this week revealed that from Monday, September 26, Exmouth library will be closed all day on Wednesdays, while Budleigh library will be closed all day every Tuesday.

Opening hours for each on the other five days for both have also changed.

In Exmouth, hours will be cut by 10 per cent, from 48 hours a week to 43, opening half-an-hour earlier at 9am from Monday to Saturday and, during the week, closing an hour earlier at 6pm.

On Saturday the library will continue to close at 4pm.

And in Budleigh, hours have been slashed by a fifth from 34 hours to 27 hours.

It will be closed all day on Tuesdays – previously it was open from 10am to 5pm.

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The branch will open at 9.30am each day, half-an-hour earlier; but will close an hour earlier on Mondays at 6pm.

Other changes include closing 90 minutes earlier on Thursdays at 5.30pm, and four hours earlier on Friday at 1pm.

Council bosses say that reductions in hours were made at the ‘least busy’ times following an 8,000 response-consultation.

Councillor Roger Croad, the cabinet member for libraries, said: “With new self service technology, some libraries will be able to open earlier to suit people perhaps on their way to work, or needing to pop in before getting on with their days. And, on busier days, we will stay open over lunchtime.

“We have needed to make savings within the service but, where we have reduced hours, we have taken them from parts of the week that we know people least use their library.

“Overall, the review now means that people have a more equitable and consistent pattern of opening times across Devon, which was not the case before.

“We will monitor the usage against the new opening times, and will make adjustments where necessary.”

The new opening times will be implemented in two phases, from Monday, September 26, to Monday, October 3.

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