Your Views on Bedford Borough Libraries Are Wanted

January 21, 2016 in Uncategorized

Bedford Borough Council is asking for local views on its libraries to help shape the future of the service. 

The public consultation will help the Council to develop a Library Strategy which will set out the vision for library services in the Borough over the next few years.  To do this the Council is looking at how people use the Borough’s libraries: which services are most popular, which services should be prioritised and how money could be saved going forward.  

The launch of the consultation is the first stage in the process with a questionnaire available on the Borough Council website at www.forms.bedford.gov.uk/libraries. Paper copies are also available in all libraries, including the mobile library.  

The Council is keen to get as many responses as possible from local people and organisations to inform the process. This stage of the consultation is now open and will run up to 4th April 2016.  

The review comes as Bedford Borough Council faces further government funding cuts and pressures on its services which mean savings of over £25 million from its annual budget need to be made by 2019. This is in addition to the £81 million already saved since 2010. In common with other Council services, the Library Service is reviewing everything it does to ensure it is delivering value for money for the people of Bedford Borough. 

Portfolio Holder for Leisure and Culture, Cllr Sarah-Jayne Holland, said: “Across the Council we are looking at how we operate and how we can deliver further savings on top of the £81 million already delivered. As part of this we want local views to help us develop a new strategy for the library service that best meets the needs of residents. 

We are also hoping to hear from local organisations on what they think the library service should focus on in the future given the likely reduction in budgets and if any organisations would like to express an interest in becoming more involved with our libraries.”