Plan for Newport library move is shelved
3:26pm Friday 28th March 2014 in News
A PROPOSAL to move the Newport central library and museum into Newport Centre has been shelved, at least for the immediate future.
Councillor Debbie Wilcox has told the Argus that the plan – part of the radical blueprint for the future of Newport council – is too costly for the authority.
Meanwhile, the council has announced that the museum and library are to close on Mondays from March 31.
A proposal to move the city museum and central library from John Frost Square into the Newport Centre was first mooted in 2013 when it was thought it could save £700,000.
The Prospectus for Change for the authority, which laid out a vision for how the council’s services might look by 2017, said the current premises “do not offer a long term future” and alternative arrangements needed to be considered.
Labour’s leisure cabinet member Cllr Wilcox said: “With all the cuts in services what we have been looking at all the time is new ways of doing things – that proposal was trying to maximise the estate that we have,” she said.
Strategic director for Place, Sheila Davies, said the plan had been considered as part of work to rationalise the authority’s property.
From March 31 the museum, art gallery and central library will close for one day a week and half an hour early on weekdays – as agreed in the 2013/14 budget.
The council said that an analysis of customer activity found lower usage on Mondays and after 5.30pm during weekdays.
The library will be open from 9am to 5.30pm on Tuesday to Friday, and from 9am to 4pm on Saturdays. The museum’s hours will be the same but will open at 9.30am instead.
A spokeswoman for the council said the changes are envisaged to have little impact on service users “but will contribute to the council saving £86,000”.
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