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Have your say in shakeup of local libraries

Local residents are being asked to comment on a raft of proposed changes to the county’s library service.

Opening hours at libraries across Kent could be slashed as part of a cost-cutting programme designed to save £1 million.

KCC cabinet member for Community and Regulatory Services said: “Being open at times when libraries are not well used is not a good use of taxpayers’ money.

“If the strategy is ratified by the council after the consultation, the result will be an overall reduction in opening hours across the library estate although some libraries will have their hours increased.”

However, critics argue libraries provide more than just books by making computers and internet connections available to everyone, as well as providing a location for the registration of births and deaths and acting as a community hub.

KCC Lib Dem opposition councillor, Antony Hook, said: “Kent’s libraries have already saved over £6 million pounds.

“Cutting opening times will make library services inaccessible to some people who rely on them – especially if those people work and can’t attend within the reduced core hours.”

KCC is holding a number of drop-in events where members of the public can talk to staff about the future of their local library.

A session will be held in the Beaney on Saturday 1 December between 9:30-12:30 and in the afternoon at the Herne Bay Library between 14:00-17:00. An online feedback form is available on the KCC website.

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