PR 034/20 18 March 2020
Services will close temporarily in line with government advice and to ensure public safety
Following the most recent government announcements regarding COVID-19, Herefordshire Council will close museum, library and archive services from the end of business on Friday 20 March until further notice. All sites will be closed to the public and all events and activities due to take place will be postponed.
During the closure, staff will be asked to work from home, work at the closed sites or potentially be redeployed to support the delivery of other essential council services.
We are very sorry for this interruption to services. We are striving to minimise the impact this may have on the public with the following actions:
· There will be no overdue charges on library items borrowed since 14 March
· Our Borrowbox e-book and e-audio service can still be accessed online and we will increase the number of items available to borrow
· Our existing Home Delivery library service to housebound and vulnerable customers will continue with some adaptations
· Our existing online resources will remain available to anyone with a Herefordshire Libraries membership card and PIN. If you experience any issues email [email protected]
We will also look at other ways in which we can support our communities and make our services available in different ways during the closure period.
Councillor Gemma Davies, Cabinet Member for Commissioning, Procurement and Assets, said: “Cultural services are at the backbone of our communities, serving some of the most vulnerable members of our society. For many, engaging with these services is vital for their health and wellbeing – both physically and mentally – and is key to the prevention of social isolation. In light of government guidance on social distancing and self-isolation, the need for cultural services in the next few months will be greater than ever.
“Over recent years the services have faced significant challenges with cuts to funding. These challenges have been taken head on with services finding ways to survive and thrive. This pandemic will be no different. Services will have to be delivered in a different way and this will take some time to finalise, so please bear with us for the interim period while this is agreed.
“I would like to take this opportunity to thank the incredible staff, volunteers, ‘Friends of’ groups and users for their continued fight to keep cultural services at the heart of our communities. Your resolve never falters and I am proud to work alongside you.”
For updates to council services visit www.herefordshire.gov.uk/coronavirus
For the latest government advice visit www.nhs.uk/coronavirus