The consultation, which ended this week, encouraged members of the public to give their views on how the county council can best protect the library service, while at the same time having to face severe cuts in Government funding.
Thousands of letters, e-mails and response forms as well as thousands of signatures on locally organised petitions in support of local libraries were submitted to the council.
More than 2,000 people attended public meetings across the county, organised by Town and Parish Councils and local County Councillors. The proposals have also been debated at all seven of the County Council’s Area Committees.
Throughout the process, a number of local communities have set up their own action groups to work with the Council to look at ways of developing services in partnership with the Library Service. The Service has responded to numerous requests for information on the current funding and performance data on individual libraries, including mobiles and fact sheets containing details on all 42 libraries and 10 mobiles have been made available on the Library Service’s website.
All the responses received are currently undergoing a thorough analysis by officers at NYCC in order to outline the key areas of feedback and concern voiced by local people and organisations.
Following this, a full report covering the findings of the analysis and highlighting issues raised by the public plus their ideas on how to address the budget deficit whilst maintaining a much valued service will be produced. Recommendations from this will be considered by the County Council’s key decision-makers in May.
The Service would still be interested in hearing from any communities or potential partners who would be interested in helping them to find alternative local solutions.