'Funeral' protest for West Berkshire libraries

Protestors gather in Newbury Credit: Matt Lowe

Dozens of protestors have taken part in a 'funeral procession' through the streets of Newbury, concerned about the threat to their public libraries.

West Berkshire Council had planned to close eight out of nine branches, but announced this week that all but Theale and Wash Common have been given a reprieve.

Community groups are now able to bid for a £1.4m "transition fund" to continue running the other libraries.

They carried headstone-shaped placards Credit: Matt Lowe

Protestors carrying gravestone-shaped placards marched from Newbury library to the office of local MP Richard Benyon.

Credit: Matt Lowe

They're concerned that the decision to keep six libraries open is only a temporary reprieve, and say some people will now face a twenty mile journey to their nearest library.

Credit: Matt Lowe

The council say they want to move to a self-service model which will save money.

They said:

"This will allow seven branch libraries and one mobile library to remain open with only Wash Common and Theale libraries closing completely unless communities find the resources to take them on."