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Eight libraries to close as part of attempt to save almost £2m

Eight libraries will close and there will be reduced opening hours in 40 others as part of a council attempt to save £1.76m.

These changes are the result of a public consultation by Hampshire County Council on proposed changes to the Library Service that took place from January to March.

The county council will be closing Lyndhurst Library on 7 November and seven other libraries by the end of the year.

Seán Woodland, Executive Member for Recreation and Heritage Councillor, said: “Over 70% of respondents agreed with the need for Hampshire’s Library Service to adapt to meet the changing demand placed on it.

“Our aim is to provide the best possible Library Service within our means – one that is fit for the future. Although this means we must reduce costs it does not stop us from innovating and seizing new opportunities.”

Over half of the responders preferred a greater reduction in opening hours for all libraries to branch closures and smaller reductions in opening hours for the remaining libraries.

Unison Hampshire has received complaints from library staff about these changes that are putting jobs at risk.

Winchester Discovery Centre’s opening hours will be reduced from 62 to 41.5 hours a week.

Temporary opening hours are currently in place to keep libraries COVID-safe.

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