Plans to reduce library opening hours to save over £1 million


Cheshire East Council is consulting on proposals to reduce the current opening hours of libraries across the borough.

They are proposing to close all libraries for at least 1.5 days during the week to deliver £1,056,000 worth of savings over the next 4 years.

This will mean libraries that are:

  • Currently not closed in the week will close for a day and a half e.g. Alsager, Congleton, Crewe, Macclesfield, Nantwich, Poynton, Sandbach & Wilmslow
  • Currently closed for 0.5 days in the week will close for an additional day e.g. Holmes Chapel & Knutsford
  • Currently closed for 1 day in the week will close for an additional half day e.g. Bollington, Handforth & Middlewich
  • Currently closed for 1.5 days or more in the week will stay as they are e.g. Alderley Edge, Disley, Prestbury

The Council has launched a consultation on how this could be implemented which will run until 9 July.

Councillor Mick Warren, chair of Cheshire East Council's environment and communities committee, said: "This year, the development of a balanced budget and four-year financial plan for the council was made more difficult in the face of ongoing and significant national funding and cost pressures, including unprecedented inflation, alongside increased complexity, and demand for services.

"There is a £20m funding gap we need to fill, while also ensuring that we can continue to provide essential frontline services and deliver on our ambitions and priorities over the coming years.

"Proposals for the libraries service were included in the draft MTFS, which was consulted on in January. Having listened to the feedback gathered during that process, the amount of savings to be made from the library service has now been reduced, which means that people will still be able to access libraries on Saturdays and in the evenings, and the mobile library service will also not be reduced.

"But while we have been able to take action based on the feedback we received and of course recognise how valuable libraries are to local communities, savings must be made, and we have no choice but to change the way in which we operate our services.

"The proposals we are now consulting on mean that all our libraries can continue to offer the wide range of services they provide – alongside the wealth of online resources and services available digitally – but ensure that we can also make the necessary savings the council must deliver to protect essential services."

The consultation also asks the public for suggestions about how they think the council could generate further income that could enable libraries to be kept open for longer, and for comments on how library provision should be delivered in local areas.

The Council is also seeking expressions of interest from town and parish councils to explore ways of working together to deliver library services in their area.

As well as a reduction in the opening hours for libraries, the proposal agreed as part of the council's MTFS includes a reduction in funding for the purchase of new books and newspapers.

To take part in the consultation, visit:

Paper copies of the consultation can also be found at each library.

Wilmslow Library


Here's what readers have had to say so far. Why not add your thoughts below.

Hannan Sarwar
Saturday 10th June 2023 at 9:53 am
RoW campaigned during the election that this was not true… but look what’s happened. They have clearly lied to the people in Wilmslow. We are seeing the Library closures now, I wonder what’s next. I suspect it will be the Green Bin Tax. They are putting their political needs first and are propping up Labour again. Worrying times ahead for Wilmslow.
Pete Taylor
Monday 12th June 2023 at 5:10 pm
Hanan Sa rear: we are not seeing “library closures” we are invited to take part in a consultation.
I’m not sure if it is purposeful mendacity on your part or simply sour grapes because you lost every seat at the recent election.
Pete Wright
Monday 12th June 2023 at 8:24 pm
I think most residents would prefer the council to make savings elsewhere and maintain library opening times rather than contributing to the relentless dumbing down of society. Also don't many schoolkids use the library facilities?
Manuel Golding
Wednesday 14th June 2023 at 12:36 pm
Hanan Sarwar is fighting an old fairy tale that he and his party colleagues tried to seduce Wilmslow voters to believe his wishful thinking .Fortunately he lost both his seats on CEC & WTC thus giving him time ti understand just what the "consultations" mean and not closures as he wishes it to be to justify his misreading of the facts. RoW was right on this and many other misinformation he was spewing out before the voters dismissed his candidacy in favour of RoW candidates.
Anita Willoughby
Monday 19th June 2023 at 7:14 pm
Assuming staff would have their hours cut - it's a bad time for it.
Gwynneth Littleton
Wednesday 28th June 2023 at 7:55 pm
I am very sad about this possible curtailment of hours. The library and excellent staff play a vital role in the community . It is always a hub of activity and has recently had a lot of money spent on it to enhance the facilities. What other facility is used by all ages and has appeal in so many different ways.? I am shocked to think that this is where it is thought that money could be saved. And I would like to know what other areas have been considered. Where else can one have a quiet place to go? And one which gives happiness and well being and fulfilment. …all the qualities that are being put forward time and again to nurture a good life. Gwynneth Littleton.