Library hours set to be extended again

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OPENING hours at Eastwood library could be increased again, just a year after they were slashed by council bosses.

Hours at the Nottingham Road library would be increased from the current 26, to 31 per week if plans revealed this week are given the go ahead.

Nottinghamshire County Council is considering increasing hours at 15 libraries in total from between two-and-a-half to six hours each.

The council says it has listened to the public after libraries across the county had their hours slashed back in April, and are making the proposals following a six month review period.

The new opening hours would come into effect April 2012.

Cllr John Cottee said: “We genuinely did what we believed would be sustainable for the next 12 months. We had to fit around what we believed was our capital and revenue programme.”

Mr Cottee said management restructuring and changes in the way the service is run had led to savings of £110,000, which the council would use to pay for the increased opening hours.

He said: “Having changed some working practices we have made some savings, which we are putting back. The aim was to keep all 60 libraries open. Had we not reduced it (the opening hours), we would have had the opposite effect.”

Eastwood MP Gloria De Piero protested against the cuts when they were first announced last year and she welcomed the U-turn.

“I know how much the library in Eastwood is loved because it’s my local library. I’m pleased it will be opening for a few more hours but I won’t be getting the champagne out because it won’t be open as long as it used to be.

“There must have been big concern over it for the council to change its mind.”