Opening hours of council info service reduced

Hours that Council Information Services will run at Linlithgow Library have been reduced
Hours that Council Information Services will run at Linlithgow Library have been reduced

Residents have been left frustrated after Council Information Services at Linlithgow Library were cut.

West Lothian Council is blaming budget pressures for the move.

The service, which gives information on things such as benefits, council tax and housing applications, is closing early during the week.

However, the council has said budget constraints from the Scottish Government and a drop in the use of the service have forced through the changes with it now open from 9am to 2.30pm.

A spokesperson for West Lothian Council said: “The funding we receive from the Scottish Government is not enough to meet the council’s budget pressures, which includes an increasing population and rising costs.

“West Lothian Council will have to make over £21 million worth of savings between 2016/17 and 2017/18, so changes to existing services are required.

“We are currently looking to modernise our frontline services and respond to the changing ways which local residents choose to engage with us, as we look to give best value for tax payers money.

“More and more customers are choosing to engage online or via the telephone with the council, with face-to-face enquiries reducing to 400 per month at Linlithgow.

“Local residents can still access a wide range of council services online 24 hours per day at www.westlothian.gov.uk. They can also speak to trained advisors by phone on 01506 280000 up to 10pm, Monday to Friday.”