Help Shape the future of Tower Hamlets’ library service

Until now, Tower Hamlets has kept all its libraries and Idea Stores open in the face of continued government cuts which have seen 778 libraries close nationally since austerity was introduced a decade ago.

Continued government changes to council funding and the Covid-19 crisis mean the council has to save £30m by 2024. This is on top of £200m already saved since 2010. You can find out more in Tower Hamlets’ budget consultation.

To do this, savings have to be made across the council including reducing the cost of the library service, which is £4.4 million a year. The savings proposed will deliver savings of £1.6 million. Tower Hamlets’ are suggesting two options:

Option 1

Deliver savings by:

  • closing Cubitt Town Library
  • reducing opening hours at Bethnal Green Library from 50 to 15 a week
  • reducing the space and opening hours at Idea Store Watney Market to one floor and from 65 to 30 hours a week
  • reducing Sunday opening hours at our four main sites from six hours to four hours
  • reducing evening staffing levels at our four main sites.

Option 2

Deliver savings by:

  • Closing Cubitt Town and Bethnal Green Libraries and Idea Store Watney Market
  • but keeping service levels at our four main sites unchanged (Idea Store Whitechapel, Idea Store Bow, Idea Store Chrisp Street and Idea Store Canary Wharf)

Help shape the future of Tower Hamlets’ library service | Let’s Talk Tower Hamlets

Two focus groups are planned, where residents, community, voluntary groups and other interested parties will be invited to discuss the two options put forward.

  • Thursday 17 December 2pm-3pm (details tbc)
  • Wednesday 13 January 6pm-7pm (details tbc)

For more information and to take part in a survey (which will remain open until 5pm, Friday 29 January 2021) please click the button below

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