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5 August 2014, 06:23
Libraries and community centres across Peterborough could be closed - as the city council try and save money.
Residents in Peterborough are being asked to give their views on how they use libraries and community centres.
The eight-week consultation, which started yesterday (Monday 4 August 2014), is asking people in the city and surrounding villages to tell us which libraries and communities centres they use around Peterborough, when and how often they use them and what they use them for.
There are 10 libraries in Peterborough and a mobile library that are run on the council's behalf by Vivacity, the city's culture and leisure trust. The consultation is also reviewing the 33 community centres that are currently run in council-owned or leased buildings.
Councillor Lucia Serluca, Cabinet Member for City Centre Management and Culture and Tourism, said: "We face some very difficult decisions this year as we look to set our budget for 2015/16. We have seen a 40 per cent reduction in our funding from government over five years at a time when there is an increasing demand for services with more children in care and an ageing population with complex needs. It means we are already facing a £19 million shortfall in our budget for 2015/16 and closing that gap will be a significant challenge.
"We are reviewing all of the services we provide because we need to ensure what we do is giving real value for money and continues to meet our residents' needs. We know people value our library services and community centres but we also know the way people are using them is changing.
"This consultation is designed to give us a clearer picture of how our residents use these facilities including which ones they go to, how often, at what times and what activities they use them for. It is a chance for all residents to have their say about their community facilities. Even if you don't use them we still want to hear from you about the reasons you don't.
"This consultation will help us to provide more relevant, responsive services in the future to meet those needs within the financial constraints we now face."
Residents can access the survey, here.
Library users will be able to use the computers at each of the city's ten libraries to fill in the survey or they can pick up a printed copy to fill in.
We will also be consulting with all parish councils and clerks, 79 registered community and resident groups, 77 networked faith and linked community groups, 45 voluntary sector partners such as the disability forum, Age UK and Peterborough Citizens Advice Bureau, MPs, the youth council and youth MP.
Copies will also be available in the Customer Service Centre at Bayard Place, Broadway, Peterborough and from the Town Hall reception in Bridge Street, Peterborough.
The consultation closes at 5pm on Friday 26 September 2014.