Tyne & Wear

Plan to axe Sunday opening of Durham library

Council bosses in County Durham are planning to close one of the area's flagship libraries on Sundays.

Clayport Library in Durham City has opened on Sundays since 2006 and is the only one in the county to do so.

But Durham County Council is now seeking views from users on plans to end Sunday opening as part of efforts to save £125m over the next four years.

The authority said 150 visitors use the library on a Sunday compared to 369 on a normal weekday.

Gerald Tompkins, the council's head of social inclusion, said: "Clayport is open longer per week than any other library in the county and it is also the only venue which opens on a Sunday.

Significant savings

"The number of people using the library on a Sunday is significantly less than during the rest of the week.

"Therefore, at a time when we are having to make significant savings as a result of the government grant reductions, closing Clayport on a Sunday would seem to be sensible."

Council figures show that over the past year Sunday book loans at Clayport averaged about 250 per day, compared to 430 on a weekday.

Mr Tompkins stressed there were no plans to reduce normal opening hours at Clayport or of any other library.

A four-week consultation on the plans will begin on 3 May and run until 6 June.

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