LIBRARY bosses in Wigan spent nearly £24,000 moving equipment when they restructured services last year.
The cost was revealed following a Freedom of Information request to the Wigan Evening Post, which revealed that Wigan Leisure and Culture Trust (WLCT) spent £23,813 moving items of stock including photocopiers, computers, printers, stationery, furniture and books in 2011/12.
WLCT were forced to restructure library services last year after public spending forced them to make savings of more than £1 million. Bosses at WLCT said that they were hit by a £6.4m reduction in Community Service Fee from Wigan Council which contributes to the Council’s £65m worth of savings required by the government.
However, library bosses at WLCT have defended the decision to spend £23,000 on moving equipment.
A spokesperson for WLCT said: “In 2011 we re-structured Wigan and Leigh’s library service, saving £1.1m whilst at the same time retaining as many libraries as possible for the communities they serve.This was achieved through a combination of co-locating libraries with other services in order to share overheads and building costs, increasing the number of volunteers and embracing new technology by introducing self-service into all libraries.
“This required re-locating Ince Library to Ince Community Centre, Hindley Library to Hindley Day Centre, Wigan Library and Wigan Children’s Library to the new Wigan Life Centre. As well as photocopiers, telephones, shelves, signage etc it also required moving 158,000 books and 9,000 CDs and DVDs. When you consider moving the contents of a small terrace house can cost several thousands of pounds a relocation on this size and scale for just £23,000 is a reflection of just how well this massive relocation exercise was managed.”