£60m Hive could close earlier in bid to save cash

Worcester News: The Hive in Worcester The Hive in Worcester

OPENING hours at Worcester's iconic Hive could be slashed, it has emerged.

Worcestershire County Council is looking at ways to save cash at the £60 million library, which costs taxpayers £2.3 million a year in subsidies.

As well as staffing and running costs the money goes towards paying off a Private Finance Initiative, which is also being renegotiated.

The council is looking at the hours as part of a root-and-branch review into the costs, with leader Councillor Adrian Hardman saying a report will come to the cabinet in the near future.

The building is open from 8.30am to 10pm every day at the moment, and only last month was named the second most popular library in the country.

Coun Hardman said the council was having to reluctantly look at all its options due to unprecedented budget pressures.

He said: “The Hive is a tremendously successful building, it’s the second most viewed library in the country but quite rightly we are looking at ways to reduce the running costs, we are having to look at everything.”

“I was there the other day and was amazed by how busy it was, it’s an iconic building which is incredibly well used.

“The details of what we decide to do will come forward in a cabinet paper.”

Speaking during a full council meeting, he said the opening hours and other running costs would be looked at.

The archives and archaeology department, which is based inside The Hive, is having its funding cut from £1.2 million a year to £450,000 in April, as your Worcester News revealed last month.

The council is also looking at ways to charging for services, and the possibility of having weddings there.

Councillor Peter McDonald, from the opposition Labour group said: "It won’t be the second busiest library in the country for long if we start cutting things and charging for services.”

The cuts are aimed at saving £98 million by 2017.

Around £18 million is being cut in the current financial year and a record £29 million needs to be slashed off budgets in 2014/15, starting in April.

Comments (8)

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1:43pm Mon 20 Jan 14

Hwicce says...

It's not going to help the Students study if they start closing the library.
It's not going to help the Students study if they start closing the library. Hwicce

1:59pm Mon 20 Jan 14

CJH says...

It would be even busier if they got rid of the anti-social element. I was looking forward to be able to use it in the evening, but have been put off by the behaviour of these people. Never thought I'd ever be intimidated in a library.
It would be even busier if they got rid of the anti-social element. I was looking forward to be able to use it in the evening, but have been put off by the behaviour of these people. Never thought I'd ever be intimidated in a library. CJH

9:19am Tue 21 Jan 14

sugarlump says...

a great pity for students but this was always going to come. PFI sucks life out of everything!
a great pity for students but this was always going to come. PFI sucks life out of everything! sugarlump

10:04am Tue 21 Jan 14

dulon says...

'Public services ' What is the point of a facility that is closed ?
Who dreamt up this proposal without taking budgets into consideration ?
Just how accountable are the people that saddled us with this debt and it is 'our' debt ?
'Public services ' What is the point of a facility that is closed ? Who dreamt up this proposal without taking budgets into consideration ? Just how accountable are the people that saddled us with this debt and it is 'our' debt ? dulon

10:18am Tue 21 Jan 14

CJH says...

dulon wrote:
'Public services ' What is the point of a facility that is closed ?
Who dreamt up this proposal without taking budgets into consideration ?
Just how accountable are the people that saddled us with this debt and it is 'our' debt ?
And I fear that if the new swimming pool goes ahead the same thing will happen - they won't be able to afford to run it.
[quote][p][bold]dulon[/bold] wrote: 'Public services ' What is the point of a facility that is closed ? Who dreamt up this proposal without taking budgets into consideration ? Just how accountable are the people that saddled us with this debt and it is 'our' debt ?[/p][/quote]And I fear that if the new swimming pool goes ahead the same thing will happen - they won't be able to afford to run it. CJH

6:32pm Wed 22 Jan 14

GroovyChick says...

Why are you all complaining, for a library to be open until 10pm every evening is a bit of a luxury. Remember the old days when they used to shut at 5.00pm sometimes 4.30.
Why are you all complaining, for a library to be open until 10pm every evening is a bit of a luxury. Remember the old days when they used to shut at 5.00pm sometimes 4.30. GroovyChick

8:52pm Wed 22 Jan 14

markskoda says...

Serious study is fairly difficult as so many people use the computers to play games with several sitting together chatting away at the tops of their voices and swearing. English seems to be the minority language in there at times. The Hive is being abused and there should be a whole soundproofed area set aside for those whose reason for being there is purely social and recreational.
Serious study is fairly difficult as so many people use the computers to play games with several sitting together chatting away at the tops of their voices and swearing. English seems to be the minority language in there at times. The Hive is being abused and there should be a whole soundproofed area set aside for those whose reason for being there is purely social and recreational. markskoda

4:14pm Thu 23 Jan 14

dulon says...

What is the point of a public facility that is only open during 'office ' hours ?
Believe it or not some of us have a job to go to ,then , after work we would like to avail ourselves of the facilities that our taxes pay for ! Not find the things closed when we have the time to go !
Just who researched this subject/project in the first place ?
What is the point of a public facility that is only open during 'office ' hours ? Believe it or not some of us have a job to go to ,then , after work we would like to avail ourselves of the facilities that our taxes pay for ! Not find the things closed when we have the time to go ! Just who researched this subject/project in the first place ? dulon

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