Residents urged to have their say on libraries
Consultation closes 17 August
Eastleigh Borough residents are being urged to have their say on the future of libraries in the area.
Hampshire County Council, which operates libraries in the Borough, have proposed major changes to opening times of the popular community facilities - and have already decided on the complete closure of Fair Oak Library.
The County Council’s new round of consultation, which runs until Monday 17 August, is on plans for half- and full-day closures of 40 remaining libraries across Hampshire. These will see staffed opening hours in Eastleigh Borough reduce by an average of 32 per cent from January 2021, ranging from a 19 per cent reduction for Chandler’s Ford Library, to 39 per cent for Hedge End Library.
Eastleigh Borough Councillors last month agreed an emergency motion opposing the closure of Fair Oak Library and the reduction in opening hours of other libraries in the Borough. The motion also called on the Borough’s two MPs to support better funding of local government to help avoid further reductions in these and other services operated by Hampshire County Council.
Councillor Keith House, Leader of Eastleigh Borough Council, said: “The closure of Fair Oak Library and the planned sharp reduction in opening hours for other libraries across the Borough will deprive residents of hugely valued community facilities. I hope that library users will make their feelings known through the consultation process and will urge the County to rethink their plans.”
Residents wishing to complete the survey should visit: www.hants.gov.uk/aboutthecouncil/haveyoursay/consultations/library-consultation
Groups or organisations wishing to extend the hours beyond those proposed are invited to contact the Library Service at: County.Library.HQ@hants.gov.uk
If agreed, the changes to hours will be largely completed by January 2021.