People are being urged to have their say on proposed changes to the library service in Sefton.

The council wants to hear residents’ views on draft proposals and a range of mitigating measures as well as potential new ways of delivering the service.

No final decision to close any libraries has been taken at this stage and councillors are strongly urging people to fill in the consultation questionnaire.

Last month, Sefton Council’s Cabinet committee approved an option for further consultation which would see the borough being serviced by six main libraries.

These would be in the five main towns – Bootle, Crosby, Formby, Maghull and Southport – as well as a ‘co-located’ library in the new Netherton Activity Centre leisure facility.

Under the draft proposal, the libraries would be complemented by improved opening hours, extensive collections, improved ICT facilities and outreach services.

The draft proposal follows an initial major public engagement including more than 6,000 responses from library users and non-users.

Cllr Peter Dowd, Leader of Sefton Council, said: “These are unprecedented times for the council and we take no pleasure from being in a position where we have to make further massive savings.

“We have already made £64m worth of savings and need to find another £43.7m over the next two years.

“However, we must stress that no decisions have been made to close any libraries at this stage and it is essential that people take part in the consultation so we can take on board all views before any decisions are made in the future.”

The consultation questionnaire is available at . Copies will be available in large print and other formats on request. Paper copies are also available at libraries, One Stop Shops, and Bootle and Southport Town Halls.

There will also be information at local Area Committee meetings and further consultation with focus groups and targeted groups, particularly those with a high interest in the library service. These will be publicised in the coming weeks.

The consultation ends on January 14, 2013.

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