Falmouth and Penryn libraries and Falmouth One Stop Shop will see an axe taken to their opening hours from June, with the towns amongst the biggest losers in the county.
Falmouth will see its opening hours reduced from 39.5 a week to just 24.5, a loss of 15 hours, or 35.5 per cent. Penryn will see its library’s opening hours cut by nine hours, from 23.5 to 14.5, a fall of over 38 per cent.
Opening hours at Falmouth’s One Stop Shop is also to fall, with Falmouth losing nine hours, or 22 per cent of its total opening hours. Penryn One Stop Shop will remain the same as it it is run by Penryn town council.
The council says that most Cornwall Council libraries and one stop shops across the county will be open for “one day less per week”, with the changes coming to effect on June 1 this year. The move has been presented as a necessity, to “keep all sites open rather than closing some of them”.
The library in Falmouth will now close completely on Wednesday and Friday, and open half and hour later, at 9.30am on Monday Tuesday and Thursday, and close earlier on Saturday, at 1pm rather than 4pm. It was previously closed all day on Wednesday.
The One Stop Shop will now also close all day Thursday, and open 15 minutes later every week-day.
The Library in Penryn will now close for an extra day a week, Friday. It was already closed on Tuesday and Thursday.
Cornwall Council cabinet member for shared services Adam Paynter said: “As part of the budget process and requirement to save £1.3m from our ‘customer access’ services, members made the decision to save £400,000 from the library and one stop shop service by reducing opening hours.
“We came up with a proposal of reduced hours which we then talked through with local members, staff, unions and partners. We have listened to their comments and amended the plans where possible to minimise the disruption to the local community whilst still making the savings. We are now able to publish the final agreed revised opening times which will be introduced from June 1, 2014 ensuring plenty of notice for customers and partners who also use the buildings.
“Of course it is not ideal that the Council has had to cut opening hours at libraries and one stop shops but it has been necessary to meet our reducing budgets whilst allowing us to keep all sites open rather than closing some of them.”
The council says that work will also continue to look at the possibility of amalgamating stand-alone one stop shops and libraries.