Consultation to discuss the future of libraries in Lichfield and Burntwood

A consultation over the future of libraries in Lichfield and Burntwood will start next week.

Staffordshire County Council says changes to the library service need to be made to meet changes in demand.

And a 12 week public consultation will give local people the chance to have their say from July 16.

Lichfield Library. Pic: Herbaltablet

Lichfield Library. Pic: Herbaltablet

Mike Lawrence, Staffordshire County Council’s Cabinet member for Communities and Localism, said: “Libraries have changed considerably in the last decade as technology and society have changed and this is about finding the best way to provide a service that is valued and used by more people, copes with changing demand, and is one that we can afford.

“Our second round of consultation begins next week and lasts for three months. We will provide people with the opportunity to have their say in person, by post and online.

“We’ve already amended the suggestions in light of initial feedback. Now we want to discuss the different options for each of our 43 libraries and we want users and non-users to think about what they want for the future.

“This is a three year programme and it’s not driven by financial pressures, so there’s no rush. I want to make sure we reach the right decision for each community.”

Mike Lawrence was speaking after the council’s Corporate Review Committee considered criticisms of the proposals before voting by majority in favour of the consultation launching.

He said: “I was pleased to have had another opportunity to discuss the aims of the libraries consultation programme and to emphasise it’s not a closure programme.

“This is about acting while we don’t have to make cash-driven changes to create a service that meets local demand and is sustainable for the future, while we also look to expand our online service to meet rising demand.”

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