As part of its response to upcoming financial pressures, Denbighshire County Council has asked services across the County to identify and propose potential savings.

The Council will have a funding deficit during the coming financial year and like Local Authorities across Wales, will need to find significant savings to ensure it can continue to deliver its essential services.

The Council is proposing a specific reduction to its Library / One Stop Shop Service to help meet this funding gap. The proposal put forward is a 50% reduction in opening hours across Denbighshire’s Library Service. All Libraries will remain partially open so that services can continue to be available for residents, albeit at a reduced rate. Also included are proposals to reduce other elements of the service, e.g., Home Library Service.

The proposal aims to ensure that access to a library is available geographically across the County each weekday. Therefore, libraries which are fairly close together, namely Ruthin and Denbigh, Llangollen and Corwen, St Asaph and Rhuddlan, and Prestatyn and Rhyl, will complement each other’s service by ensuring one is open for at least part of each day.

Councillor Emrys Wynne, Cabinet Lead Member for Welsh Language, Culture and Heritage said, “Over recent years, Denbighshire County Council has worked hard to build a comprehensive service, and the Council is hugely disappointed that it is unable to continue with this service in its entirety. However, this is the economic reality that is affecting all local authorities at present.

“Unfortunately, this model will have an impact on Libraries staff across the service and the Council will meet with staff and Trade Unions to fully consult on these proposals.

“The model put forward aims to present a fair and equitable service across the County. By ensuring that all libraries remain open in some capacity, the Council hopes it will be able to return to a full service in future when the economic climate is more favourable.”

The proposal will go to a consultation phase from Tuesday, 3 October and will run until Monday, 30 October. Members of the public can have their say either through the Council’s consultation portal, County Conversation on https://countyconversation.denbighshire.gov.uk/project/755, or they can submit hard copy responses in any council run Library in Denbighshire.