In a Cabinet Meeting held on the 19th of December, Denbighshire County Council’s Cabinet approved the proposal to reduce Library/One Stop Shop opening hours by 40%, together with associated savings in other parts of the service, to release an expected saving of £360,000.

Following a strong response to the public consultation with over 4,500 residents voicing their opinions, the Council amended the original proposal. The revised proposal has taken account of the consultation responses and has adapted the proposed opening hours to ensure that more libraries are open to accommodate children after school and that most libraries are able to continue to open on Saturday mornings.

No Denbighshire Libraries will have to close their doors, and all Libraries will remain partially open so that key services can continue to be available for residents, albeit at a reduced rate.

The financial challenge currently faced by the council is unprecedented, and all services will be required to deliver significant savings to meet that challenge. It is estimated that delivering day to day services – including social services, waste collection and schools, will cost an extra £24.5m due to price increases, inflation, and pressure on demand.

Council Officers will now work with Library Staff, Unions and Stakeholders to implement this decision.

Councillor Emrys Wynne, Lead Member for Welsh Language, Culture and Heritage said:

“As a Council, we are saddened that we have had to approve this proposal, but this is the harsh reality of the current economic climate that we are facing. This is the hardest proposal I have ever had to bring forward to the Council for consideration and approval as the library service is used by thousands of Denbighshire residents each year.

Although this decision means cuts in operating hours, it ensures that vital services continue in all Denbighshire Libraries and One Stop Shops and that no library has to close its doors. The Council hopes it will be able to return to a full service in future when the economic climate is more favourable.

This saving proposal is unfortunately one of the many proposals that the Council will have to consider within the next 12 months given the economic climate and budgetary pressures.”