Charges introduced for readers logging-on at Calderdale libraries

MANY people who use the internet in Calderdale libraries will have to pay £1 an hour from Monday.

The first 60 minutes will continue to be free but charges will be imposed from then on for everybody except the over 60s, under 16s and Passport to Leisure card holders.

The charge will affect all 22 libraries.

Robin Tuddenham, Calderdale Council’s community services director, said: “Our libraries offer wonderful opportunities for people of all ages to learn and enjoy.

“I hope this modest fee will not deter them from using the internet alongside the books, maps, CDs, DVDs and the wealth of other resources available.”

He said money raised through charging would allow the council to keep the first hour free for everyone.

Overall, the council needs to save £15 million this year and has introduced a £1 charge on all tickets for events staged at the Victoria Theatre, Halifax.

It has also put up charges for swimming pools and leisure centre, and charges for hiring sports pitches. A review of charging was agreed as part of a report to the cabinet in November 2010.

Last year there were 940,000 visits to Calderdale libraries and 18,000 visits to mobile libraries.

lIs the council right to charge internet users? E-mail us: Newsdesk@halifaxcourier.co.uk