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Axe falls on Helston library and One Stop Shop opening hours
7:00am Wednesday 19th March 2014 in News
The axe has been taken to Helston library and One Stop Shop opening hours, with the move blamed on the need to find savings at Cornwall Council.
Helston Library will lose nine hours a week, closing on two days, with opening hours at the town's One Shop Stop also reduced.
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 Helston will now close completely on Tuesdays and Thursdays, a reduction in opening hours of nine, a 26 per cent fall. It was previously closed all day on Wednesday.
The Helston One Stop Shop has also had its opening hours cut, from 40 hours per week to 32, a drop of 20 per cent.
Mayor of Helston, Jonathan Radford Gaby said it was always a “great shame when the axe falls on services in Helston” however he understood that the council needs to “cut its cloth to suit its pockets”.
“These are essential services that are important to the people of Helston. It is a great shame.”
Councillor Andrew Wallis, who represents Helston South at the authority said: “The Council has to find £196m in savings in the next four years. This is on top of the £170m previously found. The previous amount was found - just, but this time it will be a lot more difficult and will mean services provision will change, or in some cases stop completely.
“I know the service area I cover in my portfolio has seen reductions and stopping of services. It is not nice, and if things funding wise were different, I would not be having to make those difficult choices. But we do, as the £196m is a real game changer, and we cannot do it by a few tweaks here and there.
“ This is being done to make the savings required, but more importantly, stops the Council from actually closing down any of the facilities. You many not like it, but you will like it less if the provision was closed down, and the building sold off.
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.”
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