RESIDENTS are being urged to share their views on the future of Warrington's library services in the face of major budget cuts.

A six-week consultation giving residents the chance to have their say on the council's draft strategy – Transforming Warrington's Public Libraries – has been launched.

The strategy, developed by the libraries partnership board, aims to ensure services remain sustainable and relevant.

It underpins the council's £1 million investment in a programme of repairs, maintenance and refurbishment at all 12 of Warrington’s libraries, along with a £150,000 towards the book fund budget.

At the heart of the draft strategy is an ambition for sites across the borough to 'make a meaningful, visible and measurable difference to the lives of residents’, as a place of 'enjoyment, reflection, calm, inclusion, safety, insight, inspiration, creativity and learning'.

All views will be taken on board and will help shape the final version of the strategy, which is due to be published in the summer.

Cllr Tony Higgins, the council's executive board member for leisure and community, said: "Warrington people have told us how highly they value public library services.

"That's why we are investing so heavily in their future.

"But refurbishing buildings and improving book stock are only part of the story.

"We also need to make sure our libraries are sustainable into the future, by listening to what people want, and designing a service that truly meets their needs.

"We know that to sustain our libraries, with limited resources, we need to think differently and creatively, as the needs of our communities change.

"That means that there are many challenges ahead, as well as opportunities to explore."

The draft confirms Warrington's population is expected to increase to 227,300 by 2040 – an increase of 7.1 per cent.

As a result, the authority says it recognises 'libraries need to evolve'.

The document also raises fresh concerns over budget cuts facing the authority.

It adds: "Public services have been through a significant and sustained period of austerity, which has seen funding reduce across all public services.

"Since 2010, Warrington Borough Council has delivered a budget reduction of £122 million, equivalent to £1,318 per Warrington household."

Warrington’s libraries are managed by community interest company LiveWire.

In 2016, in response to the need to reduce public spending, LiveWire consulted on proposals to reduce the number of libraries in the town to nine.

But, following widespread opposition, the plans were scrapped.

You can get involved in the consultation in the following ways:

•          By completing the online survey, at  

•          By requesting a paper copy (also available in other formats), on 01925 443921

•          By sending an email to

•          By writing to Warrington Borough Council, Strategic Partnerships and Commissioning Team, Warrington & Co.  The Base, Dallam Lane, Warrington WA2 7NG

The closing date for responses is March 8.