Councillors in Liverpool are meeting to discuss the future of the city's library service.
They need to reduce the budget by £1.7 million (25 per cent) as part of the council’s £156 million of savings needed over the next three years due to cuts in Central Government funding.
The Local authority says the scale of the challenge resulted in a two month consultation process which explored remodelling the service and looked at how the city’s 19 public libraries were used by customers.
The report identified 11 community libraries that could be at risk of closure if alternative and viable ways of delivering the services from these buildings cannot be found.
Branches at Risk:-
- Breck Road Library
- Dovecot Library
- Fazakerley Library
- Kensington Library
- Lee Valley Library
- Old Swan Library
- Sefton Park Library
- Spellow Library
- Walton Library
- Wavertree Library
- West Derby Library
The council says are potentially at risk because of a number of factors including below average use, high running costs, their proximity to another library and the potential of the service being provided by another organisation or group.
If the report is approved, another full consultation exercise will take place which will include a series of public meetings, inviting people to have their say on the proposed service as a whole as well as those venues which have been identified as potentially at risk.
“The sheer scale of the cuts which face the council mean we have to make some extremely tough decisions.
“We, along with an independent company, have scrutinised all the responses to the consultation looking closely at areas such as what library services the residents use, when they use it and how often.
“At the same time we have to look at the individual venues and consider what their running costs are, can we work with partner organisations to keep costs down, were they located near another library and had any community based organisation shown an interest in taking over the running of the facility.
“It’s important to stress that it isn’t a foregone conclusion that the libraries identified will close – we are carrying out a further four week consultation to make sure all options are considered and that it has been a fully comprehensive review of the service as a whole.”
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