DUDLEY Council has launched a consultation on its proposal to turn the borough's libraries, archives and adult learning services into a public services mutual.

Under the new proposal, the services would be run together as a not-for-profit mutual which council chiefs say would be more sustainable, ensure lower running costs, access to new funding and income streams and offer chance to expand the services provided in line with community interest.

The authority says the proposed Community Benefit Society model, which would be run by professional staff - with community, employee and council involvement at board level, would ensure all libraries, library links and Dudley's archive service remain open, albeit with reduced staff time and increased customer self-service.

Some adult and family learning may be relocated to shared venues, but would still be funded from national budgets allocated to Dudley Council for adult skills and community learning.

People across the borough are now being asked, as part of a 12-week consultation, to have their say on the proposal before a final decision is made.

Councillor Khurshid Ahmed, Dudley's cabinet member for adult and community learning, said: "These are unprecedented times for Dudley Council with continuous reductions in funding from national government putting intense pressure on local services.

"As part of the council’s budget reductions, Libraries, Archives and Adult Learning have to achieve a target of 30 per cent savings.

“The mutual model would be a positive outcome from a trying situation, bringing staff, residents and council officers together to deliver an innovative, efficient and sustainable way of working.”

Copies of the consultation can be found in borough libraries, the archives, at neighbourhood learning centres and on Dudley Council's website.

The consultation runs until February 19 2016. Click here to take part.