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Savings considered in community services

Extending library hours through self-access and a single base for museum collections are among ideas to save £1.3 million.

The news comes as Leicestershire’s ruling cabinet receives an update on its communities and wellbeing strategy, which was agreed earlier this year.

 

We have an excellent track record of making savings while maintaining services, such as with our transfer of community libraries.

 

"We have to explore some innovative ideas to save £1.3 million. Some of them, such as introducing technology to allow people to visit libraries without staff being present, could result in a more flexible service and enable libraries to be accessible for longer.”

The service is responsible for a range of cultural, educational and support services, including libraries, museums, heritage sites and the record office.

An update to councillors says that a range of savings options have been identified, as the budget reduces from £5.2 million to £3.9 million over the next two years. These include:

The use of smart technology at 15 market town and shopping centre libraries, allowing customers to swipe their library card to enter the library and borrow, return and renew items. It is intended to trial the new system at Syston library next year. Across the county, the scheme could save £300,000 per year;

A single hub for museums collections, archives and educational resources, replacing five current venues. Options are still being developed, but it could save £400,000 per year;

A review of the green plaques scheme;

A review of the service’s staffing structure;

Cabinet will discuss the report at 2pm on November 23. The meeting will be webcast live and a recording available the following day on www.leicestershire.gov.uk/webcast .

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