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Bristol Council does U-turn on library closures

Seven libraries in Bristol which looked set to close - could now be saved thanks to overwhelming opposition.

City Council were set to cut several libraries in an attempt to save over a million pounds. But this morning, new proposals were put forward - which councillors have heralded as a 'major victory'.

I have paid close attention to everything that has happened during the consultation process, fully understand the strong attachment people have to their local library and believe these new proposals reflect much of what we’ve heard.

Cabinet asked officers to prepare alternative proposals which reflect the consultation findings, recognising that these would result in a reduction in our savings target if adopted.

It will be our job at cabinet to look at how we make a decision which finds the balance between the major budget pressures and the strong attachment we all have to our library service.

There has been a great deal of passion shown for local libraries, with communities coming together to make strong, valid and heartfelt representations. I am pleased that viable alternatives have been set out for consideration by the cabinet to potential closures, and will consider all options carefully before I make the final decision.

– George Ferguson, Mayor of Bristol

Community runs Dorset library

Puddletown Library has become the first in Dorset to transfer to community ownership. The library will be staffed by a team of 28 unpaid volunteers. The County Council cut funding from seven libraries to save more than seven hundred thousand pounds a year.

Former journalist Kate Adie performed the opening ceremony yesterday. And we'll bring you more on that story in the west country tonight at six. Six more will follow in the coming months,