Thirteen north Northamptonshire libraries face potential closure

Irchester Library ENGNNL00320130101142926
Irchester Library ENGNNL00320130101142926

A number of libraries in the north of the county face closure under the latest proposed Northants County Council budget cuts.

The council has created three options for the future of library services in the county, with several facing the option of being run by volunteers or closing.

Under option one, the following libraries would be offered as community managed-libraries: Danesholme, Desborough, Rothwell, Earls Barton, Finedon, Irchester, Wollaston, Higham Ferrers, Raunds and Thrapston.

This option would see the retention of the four large libraries in the area (Corby, Kettering, Wellingborough and Rushden) and three medium libraries (Burton Latimer, Irthlingborough and Oundle).

A potential future library service provision to an additional location in Corby would also be investigated.

Option two would only see the retention of the large libraries and medium libraries.

Option three would see only Corby, Wellingborough, Kettering and Rushden remain as libraries in the north of the county.

In each of these options, the mobile library would be withdrawn from service.

Universal children’s services in libraries which do not remain open would also be affected.

County council cabinet member for public health and wellbeing Cllr Sylvia Hughes said: “Faced with significant funding pressures, we have no option but to review the current model for Northamptonshire libraries.

“We are committed to maintaining a library service that continues to serve the most people who borrow items and those who use the library for other services, such as computer workshops, registration services and access to borough and district council services.

“This means providing a services that enables us to further co-locate services across the broadest geographical spread while delivering value for money and minimising the impact on customers.

“I hope community groups and other interested organisations will consider whether their local library is a facility they would like to take on and develop as a community space.”

The proposal will be discussed at October’s Cabinet meeting in order to allow a full 12-week consultation period.

Remaining budget proposals will be presented to December’s cabinet meeting, followed by the usual six-week consultation.

The announcement comes as part of the council’s effort to save a further £9.6m.