New library plan to save Caistor and Wragby facilities

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Lincolnshire County Council has published new proposals for the future of the county’s library service following a public consultation.

Under the revised proposals, Market Rasen library will be listed as one of the county’s five ‘Tier 2’ facilities with 25 opening hours a week.

Market Rasen’s library will see a reduction of three opening hours in the new proposals with the facility being closed all day on Mondays and Thursdays.

Caistor and Wragby libraries, which were under threat of closure when the proposals were initially put forward could be run by community groups.

The two libraries would become ‘Tier 3’ services and would be part of a community-run service. LCC has confirmed that an expression of interest has been received from local groups with the intention of keeping a static facility.

These ‘community hubs’ would receive a £5,167 revenue grant and a £15,000 one-off investment per community.

There will also be a 10-year lease, with at least a 4-year peppercorn rent.

Caistor library will lose all its council staffed hours, currently 16.

However, if run by the community it would avoid the possibility of a mobile library service visiting the town. Keelby library is still at threat of closure.

‘Tier 2’ libraries, like Market Rasen, will include a book stock of a least 9,000 items of various genres, a minimum of five People’s Network computers, self-service technology and printing and community information.

If these proposals go through LCC will save £1,734,183 from its budget - a reduction from £6,085,955 to £4,351,772.

Under LCC’s revised proposals there will be a reduction in staffing of roughly 102 posts which amounts to 35.5 full-time equivalent staff members.

Executive Member for Libraries at LCC Councillor Nick Worth said: “These community-run libraries were preferred to mobile services in the consultation. However, there were concerns about their long-term viability, so under the revised proposals we would give communities additional support and time, helping them lay firm foundations for the future.”

The end date for community hub implementation has been set for March 31, 2015. The proposals will not come into force unless they are voted for by county councillors on December 3.