Laura Sharman 11 August 2014

Liverpool warns 11 libraries at risk of closure

Liverpool City Council has warned 11 libraries are at risk of closure unless other ways of delivering services can be found.

The council will consider a report into the future of its libraries on 15 August, examining how it can reduce its library service budget by £2.5m over the next three years.

The proposed new library service would see the council retain seven community libraries, with Central Library staying open seven days a week. The Home Library Service and the RNIB Talking Book Service would also be retained.

Mayor of Liverpool, Joe Anderson, said: ‘We have produced a report that has looked at how we shape our library service for the future, accepting the fact that we have to make savings across all services, including adult social care, mental health, children’s services and many others.

‘The library service cannot be excluded otherwise more cuts will fall on other important services, which is why we have to make this £2.5m saving.

‘The proposals are the fairest way of dealing with a financial situation outside of our control. Not only have we had to find these savings because of the cuts, we also have to find money to pay for PFI schemes, like the £50m borrowed to refurbish Central Library.’

The report identifies 11 community libraries at risk of closure and, if approved, will consider all the options including how they can be operated and financially supported by external groups or organisations.

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