RESIDENTS in Northwich and Winsford are being urged to have their say on plans to cut opening hours at the towns' libraries and museums.

Cheshire West and Chester Council has this week launched an eight-week consultation on its proposals to change the way these services operate in future.

The consultation comes as the council, like others across the country, faces increasing pressures on its services and budgets.

It is hoped the consultation will help the council identify more cost-effective solutions to allow libraries and museums to continue delivering services to residents.

Cllr Lisa Denson, the cabinet member for a fairer future, said: "Our libraries and museums services are open to all and are well used by communities every day.

"Our ambition is to offer modern, accessible, and sustainable libraries and museums services whose development is informed by the views of residents across the borough.

"To achieve this, we have developed some principles to guide how libraries and museums services are delivered in the future.

"We are also considering making some changes to the opening hours of libraries and museums to ensure consistency across the borough, and to ensure that each local area has access to library services throughout the week."

What are the proposed changes to library and museum opening hours

As part of the proposals, Barnton Library will see its overall opening hours cut by one hour.

This would be achieved by changing the daily opening time to 9.30am, instead of 10am. The library would then shut each day at 5pm, except for Wednesdays when it would close at 7pm.

Northwich Library, Sandiway Library and Weaverham Library will all lose two hours at part of the proposed changes.

Each library would close at 5pm, but open until 7pm on Thursdays (Northwich), Tuesdays (Sandiway) and Fridays (Weaverham).

Overall, Winsford Library would see 30 minutes added to its opening times, welcoming residents from 9am instead 9.30am daily. The library would also close at 5pm daily, except on Mondays when it will shut at 7pm.

Wharton Library will lose an hour, opening at 9.30am, instead of 9am. The library would also open between 2pm and 5pm on Wednesdays rather than close.

It would also open between 2pm and 5pm on Fridays, rather than 12pm to 5pm.

There are no changes proposed for opening hours of the mobile library service.

With regards to museums, the Lion Salt Works would have three hours cut from its opening hours.

This would be achieved by opening at 11am rather than 10.30am and closing at 4pm rather than 5pm on Saturdays and Sundays. No changes are proposed to weekday opening times.

Six hours are proposed to be cut from the Weaver Hall Museum and Workhouse opening hours.

There is no change to the Monday opening times, but from Tuesday to Friday, the museum would open at 11am rather than 10am and close at 4pm instead of 5pm.

On the weekend, the museum would open at 12pm rather than 2pm and close at 4pm, instead of 5pm.

How to take part in the consultation

Cllr Denson added: "We want to understand the views of service users, residents and stakeholders about these proposals.

"This feedback is important to us so that we make changes in the best way possible and continue to deliver responsive services that provide value for money."

The consultation is available online at

A paper version of the consultation documents and survey will be available at all Cheshire West libraries and museums.

A number of drop-in sessions will also take place for residents to discuss the proposals and share their views.

These will take place at:

Weaver Hall Museum and Workhouse and Northwich Library between 3pm and 7pm on Thursday, February 15.

Lion Salt Works, Northwich, on Thursday, March 7, from 1pm to 5pm.

Winsford Library on Monday, March 11, from 2pm to 7pm.