Cabinet to discuss proposed consultation on review of Northamptonshire libraries

16 October 2017

​Northamptonshire County Council’s Cabinet will this week discuss a proposal to hold a public consultation about a review of Northamptonshire libraries.

The review would see community groups, organisations or businesses offered the opportunity to take over the running of some of the county’s smaller libraries.

The proposal is one of a number of budget proposals for 2018/19 which are due to be discussed by Cabinet on Thursday (October 19th) as the county council looks to manage unprecedented growth in demand for services against reduced central government funding.

Three options

If approved, the consultation will ask people for their views on three options for the future model of the library service. The options are:

  • Offer 21 smaller libraries to community groups, organisations or businesses to be run as community-managed libraries, and retain eight large libraries and seven medium libraries under direct county council management
  • Retain eight large libraries and seven medium libraries, and develop these 15 retained libraries as community hubs
  • Retain eight large libraries and develop them as community hubs

In each of these options, the mobile library would be withdrawn from service. Universal children’s services in libraries that do not remain open would also be affected.

County council cabinet member for public health and wellbeing Cllr Sylvia Hughes said: “Faced with significant funding pressures, we have no option but to review the current model for Northamptonshire libraries.

“We are committed to maintaining a library service that continues to serve the most people who borrow items and those who use the library for other services, such as computer workshops, registration services and access to borough and district council services.

“This means providing a services that enables us to further co-locate services across the broadest geographical spread while delivering value for money and minimising the impact on customers.

“I hope community groups and other interested organisations will consider whether their local library is a facility they would like to take on and develop as a community space.”

The proposal will be discussed at October’s Cabinet meeting in order to allow a full 12-week consultation period. Remaining budget proposals will be presented to December’s Cabinet meeting, followed by the usual six-week consultation.

Option 1:

  • Offer 21 smaller libraries to community groups, organisations or businesses to be run as community-managed libraries
  • Retain a reduced countywide digital, information and business offer
  • Retain 15 libraries within county council management and further develop as community hubs – 8 large libraries, 7 medium libraries
  • Investigate potential future library service provision to additional location in Corby
  • Extend Library to You to replace Mobile Library

The 21 smaller libraries to be offered as community-managed libraries are:

  • Danesholme
  • Desborough
  • Rothwell
  • Earls Barton
  • Finedon
  • Irchester
  • Wollaston
  • Higham Ferrers
  • Raunds
  • Thrapston
  • Abington
  • Kingsthorpe
  • Far Cotton
  • St James
  • Wootton
  • Long Buckby
  • Woodford Halse
  • Deanshanger
  • Middleton Cheney
  • Moulton
  • Roade

The 8 large libraries to be retained in this option are:

  • Corby Cube
  • Kettering Library
  • Wellingborough Library
  • Northamptonshire Central Library
  • Weston Favell Library
  • Rushden Library
  • Daventry Library
  • Towcester Library

The 7 medium libraries to be retained in this option are:

  • Burton Latimer Library
  • Irthlingborough Library
  • Hunsbury Library
  • Duston Library
  • Oundle Library
  • Brixworth Library
  • Brackley Library

Option 2:

  • Retain a reduced countywide digital, information and business offer
  • Retain 15 libraries and further develop as community hubs – 8 large libraries, 7 medium libraries
  • Investigate potential future library service provision to additional location in Corby
  • Extend Library to You to replace Mobile Library

The 8 large libraries to be retained in this option are:

  • Corby Cube
  • Kettering Library
  • Wellingborough Library
  • Northamptonshire Central Library
  • Weston Favell Library
  • Rushden Library
  • Daventry Library
  • Towcester Library

The 7 medium libraries to be retained in this option are:

  • Burton Latimer Library
  • Irthlingborough Library
  • Hunsbury Library
  • Duston Library
  • Oundle Library
  • Brixworth Library
  • Brackley Library

Option 3:

  • Retain a reduced countywide digital, information and business offer
  • Retain 8 libraries and further develop as community hubs
  • Extend Library to You to replace Mobile Library

The 8 large libraries to be retained in this option are:

  • Corby Cube
  • Kettering Library
  • Wellingborough Library
  • Northamptonshire Central Library
  • Weston Favell Library
  • Rushden Library
  • Daventry Library
  • Towcester Library
Library service review - have your say


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