DENBIGHSHIRE's Conservative Group have 'called in' Denbighshire County Council’s Cabinet decision to cut library services by 40 per cent.

More than 4,500 residents responded to the consultation on the original proposal to cut opening times at all of Denbighshire’s eight libraries by 50 per cent, and at a meeting of the Cabinet on December 19, a revised proposal to cut opening hours by 40 per cent was put forward and subsequently passed.

The Conservative group are against the controversial decision and on December 29 2023, group leader cllr Hugh Irving submitted a notice of ‘call-in’.  His request was supported by cllr Terry Mendies, James Elson, Justine Evans and Brian Jones.

Their reasons for the call-In are as follows: 

  • The decision to reduce library opening hours by 40 per cent is inappropriate as the reductions will prevent a high performing service maintain its standards and will affect the Council’s Key Performance Indicators. This effect is yet to be clarified.
  • One stop shops located in libraries provide significant support to the community particularly for less able residents who will no longer be as fully supported. Public access to IT technology will be reduced and opportunities for residents just to enter a warm environment for social reasons will be diminished.
  • Potential Redundancy Costs and the impact of losing fully trained experienced staff have not yet been fully calculated or included in figures for corporate savings. Detail anticipated savings have not yet been provided to members.
  • The town/city Councils of Rhuddlan and St Asaph have not yet indicated whether they will continue their financial support for their local libraries in light of the reduced service proposed. These figures need to be known and considered before final decisions are made.
  • Outside organisations providing services through library premises have not yet indicated whether they will continue to do so with the resultant effect on community well-being. Financial losses from commercial organisations such as banks from loss of access to library facilities have not yet been calculated or their loss to the community taken into consideration.

The group will outline their reasons for the 'call-in' at a special Communities Scrutiny Scrutiny Committee meeting on Thursday, January 11.

Cllr Irving, leader of the group, said: “More than 4,500 residents responded to the consultation on the cuts to library services, yet the valid concerns raised have been disregarded by Cabinet Members. 

“As a group, we are extremely concerned about the impact of these cuts on local communities and are hoping that our request will receive support from members of the Communities Scrutiny Committee at their meeting on Thursday so that this decision can be taken back to the Cabinet and reviewed.

“We look to the council to act for both their loyal and hard-working staff and residents rather than against them as these proposals will do.“

Dr James Davies, MP for Vale of Clwyd, and Gareth Davies, MS for Vale of Clwyd, have also opposed the cuts.

Dr Davies described Denbighshire's libraries and One Stop Shops as “indispensable” and warned that a reduction in library services would “impact the most vulnerable in our society”.

Mr Davies meanwhile said the cuts were “very concerning” and urged Denbighshire County Council to listen to the views of "local people".


Denbighshire Council’s cabinet gave the green light to cut library opening times by 40 per cent in order to save £360,000 per year.

The council claims it faces “unprecedented” financial pressures with a near £25m shortfall in its budget this year.

Denbighshire’s libraries include those at Corwen, Denbigh, Llangollen, Prestatyn, Rhuddlan, Rhyl, Ruthin, and St Asaph.

Leader of Denbighshire Council cllr Jason McLellan said at the time: “It is a frontline service, we’ve recognised.

“The consultation (response) was massive, we’ve recognised.

“The consultation was overwhelmingly against cuts, we’ve recognised.

“But it does not get away from the fact that this is part and parcel [of] a huge, huge budget pressure that we face.

“None of us are taking this lightly.”

Councillors were told cutting hours across all libraries was fairer than making savings by closing individual buildings.