Shropshire Council

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Archives - reduced opening hours - 2016

  • Period: 23 February 2016 - 04 April 2016
  • Status: Closed
  • Audiences: Everyone
  • Topics: Leisure and culture, Big Conversation
  • Type: Public

Budget reductions, part of the overall spending pressures on Shropshire Council, require a major adjustment in staffing and functions at Shropshire Archives. Inevitably this means a reduction in the service’s opening hours.

The current position

The current opening hours are:   

Sunday - Tuesday: Closed
Wednesday: 10am - 4pm
Thursday: 10am – 4pm (2pm - 4pm library service only)
Friday: 10am – 4pm (2pm - 4pm library service only)
Saturday (every other): 10am – 2pm

Following the reduction in opening hours in April 2014 the service has seen a reduction in visitors to around 5,000 per year. In April 2015, as a result of customer feedback, access to the search room, where original documents can be consulted, was extended on Wednesdays to 4pm and this has been well supported. Since then demand has continued for access to original documents in the searchroom and the library style service offered from 2pm - 4pm on Thursdays and Fridays has not been so well used. Demand on Saturdays is variable and does not seem to support the current frequency of opening.

The proposed changes to opening hours will allow for a full service during the opening periods covering both the reading room and the search room, though documents would need to be ordered in advance at certain times, for example on Saturdays.

This reduction in opening hours will ensure that the service can continue with other essential behind the scenes cataloguing and conservation work which supports public access to archives. An enquiry service will continue to be maintained during public opening times, and opportunities for volunteers will also continue to be provided from Tuesdays to Thursdays. Group visits, school sessions and adult education courses will continue to be programmed for Mondays and Tuesdays in response to levels of demand.

The consultation closes on Monday 28 March 2016. A final decision on the options following the consultation, will be made by Shropshire Council’s Cabinet in April. The revised opening hours will be implemented in May 2016.

We are seeking people’s views on three options and inviting them to suggest a fourth.

Click on the 'How to get involved' tab at the top of this page to access the online feedback form.

For further information please use the contact information on this page.

Options for opening hours at Shropshire Archives

Option A

  • Sunday - Tuesday: Closed
  • Wednesday: 10am - 4pm
  • Thursday: 10am – 2pm
  • Friday: 10am – 2pm
  • Saturday (1 in 4): 10am – 2pm
  • Saturday (3 in 4): Closed

TOTAL - 15 hours

Retains once a month Saturday opening, and one longer day, but reduction in opening on Thursday and Friday

Option B

  • Saturday - Tuesday: Closed
  • Wednesday: 10am - 4pm
  • Thursday: 10am – 2.30pm
  • Friday: 10am – 2.30pm

TOTAL - 15 hours

Retains one long day, but no Saturday opening, longer days on Thursday and Friday

Option C

  • Saturday - Tuesday: Closed
  • Wednesday: 10am - 3pm
  • Thursday: 10am – 3pm
  • Friday: 10am – 3pm

TOTAL - 15 hours

3 shorter days, no Saturday opening, but opening hours easier to understand and remember

Option D

A different option? Please let us know if you think there is an alternative solution, recognising that there is a maximum of 15 hours opening per week.

Opening hours to remain largely unchanged

Following a consultation on opening hours at Shropshire Council’s Shropshire Archives, the service’s opening hours will remain largely unchanged.

After feedback from the public, and The National Archives, who have a legal role in regulating archive services across the country, Shropshire Council has reflected on the original proposals and has agreed that the service will be open as follows:

  • Wednesdays 10am-4pm
  • Thursdays 10am-4pm
  • Fridays 10am-4pm
  • Saturdays once a month 10am-4pm.

This amounts to 19.5 hours a week, compared to the 20 hours currently offered.

The Saturdays once a month opening is a change from the existing opening pattern, of every other Saturday 10am-2pm. There was strong support for opening on Saturdays in the consultation, but the current service is not well used. It is hoped that opening on Saturdays once a month, for a longer day, will prove popular with customers.

During opening times, the service will be enhanced from the current position, with access to original archive documents available during all opening hours. At the moment a library-style service operates from 2-4pm on Thursdays and Fridays. The opening hours will be reviewed in six months, particularly with regard to the Saturdays once a month opening.

Over 160 responses were received to the consultation and the new pattern of opening hours will be introduced from June 2016.

Having read all the information provided, use the green button below to access our short online feedback form.

Go to the online feedback form »

 

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