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Re-shaping Flintshires library and customer contact services

Published: 12/03/2015

Proposals to modernise and re-shape library services in Flintshire , and open more Flintshire Connects facilities are being announced by the County Council today (Thursday 12 March) People will be asked for their views on plans to deliver an effective and sustainable network of libraries and Connects services based on six hub locations in Connahs Quay, Mold, Flint, Buckley, Holywell, and Deeside Leisure Centre. A brand new library is being proposed within Deeside Leisure Centre to serve the communities of Hawarden, Mancot and Queensferry where there are currently part-time facilities in outdated or under used buildings. It could be open to the public by January 2016. In line with the Councils current moves to involve local communities in the running of some services, people in Saltney, Mynydd Isa, Halkyn and , Hope where there are part time libraries, will be asked if they have an interest in sustaining either the building or the service. Councils have the option to transfer buildings and land to community or charitable groups for them to run the service. A potential community library and some Connects service provision in a community managed building in Broughton will also be explored in the coming months. The Council currently has three successful Connects centres at Holywell, Flint and Connahs Quay where the public can access all services under one roof. Two more Connects centres will be opened in the coming months within Buckley Library and Mold Library. The Council is facing unprecedented cuts and is having to find efficiencies of over £18 million across all services over the coming 12 months alone. Further massive savings will have to be found in subsequent years. Councillor Aaron Shotton, Leader of the Council said: As the people of Flintshire will be aware, the Council has the enormous challenge of delivering services with reduced resources. We have been looking at innovative ways to maintain services as best we can, and deliver them in different ways or surroundings. The Connects programme has already been an example of this and will be expanded to bring all services closer to communities. By engaging with our local communities, we are striving to find long term solutions which I hope will sustain our local services. This is absolutely critical at a time of unprecedented national funding cuts to public services. Councillor Chris Bithell Cabinet member for Education said: Whilst we have maintained our library network. in Flintshire, we must now look at different ways of delivering the service, preserving its quality and enhancing the facilities on offer. For example, providing the new proposed library facility within the Deeside Leisure Centre could open the doors to library users to the excellent range of leisure and spa facilities within the building. Leisure users will also have easy access to books, computers and study opportunities. A report on the proposals will be considered by the Councils Cabinet on Tuesday 17 March. Following a consultation period on the Deeside Leisure Centre library proposal there will be a further report to a Scrutiny Committee in April with a further report to Cabinet in May.