Council ready to hand over its libraries

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PLANS to hand over the running of North Yorkshire County Council’s libraries to local communities as the authority battles to make £69m in savings to counter the Government’s cuts were approved by senior politicians yesterday.

The council’s executive backed the proposals to transfer the running of many of its 42 libraries to volunteers, which the Yorkshire Post revealed last month was set to prove a success following a huge reaction from the public.

But it emerged earlier this month that more than a fifth of the library service’s workforce is due to be axed with 36 posts going from 177 full-time staff, while opening hours in many branches are to be cut. All North Yorkshire’s branches will be retained, with the exception of Malton and Norton libraries which will be merged into one. The 41 remaining branches will be run either by the county council’s library service, volunteers, or a combination of both.