1. ITV Report

Bristol to lose 17 libraries under latest saving proposals

Bristol's libraries could face heavy cuts under the Council's latest proposals. Credit: ITV News

More than half of Bristol's libraries and school crossing patrols could be cut in the latest bid to save money by the City Council.

Proposals unveiled by Mayor Marvin Rees would see the number of libraries go down from 27 to 10 with reduced opening hours for those that survive.

Funding for school crossing patrols will also be halved, leaving schools and communities to fill the gap.

The proposals come as the council tries to save £4.7 million just months on from passing a budget committing it to make more than £100 million of cuts by March 2022.

Redland Library is among those that could close. Credit: ITV News/Alex Underwood

There are also plans to close 18 public toilets and invest in what the council are calling a 'community toilet scheme'.

90 city council employees would also lose their jobs.

The proposals are now being put out for consultation with the city's residents being encouraged to respond during the next 12 weeks.

List of Libraries which would lose all council funding:

  • Avonmouth
  • Bishopsworth
  • Clifton
  • Hillfields
  • Horfield
  • Lockleaze
  • Marksbury Road
  • Redland
  • St Paul's
  • Shirehampton
  • Westbury
  • Whitchurch
  • Wick Road
Bristol Central Library would survive under the proposed savings. Credit: Google Streetview

Mayor Marvin Rees said he was left with no option but to make savings:

We have no choice but to make major savings following years of government austerity and the rising cost of providing vital services to more people.

At the same time we want to make Bristol a more equal city where no-one is left behind and where there is less of a need to rely on the council doing everything it once did.

Providing safe routes to schools is very important and we value the work of our school crossing patrols. However, we must make changes and respond to the financial challenge we are faced with, which means making some incredibly difficult decisions.

We have reviewed the existing locations for school crossing patrols and referred to national guidance and our own surveys before making these proposals, according to the highest need.

Last week’s election demonstrated that the UK’s major cities have rejected austerity and the damaging impact it continues to have on our lives at a local level.

I will be asking the UK’s other major cities to join me in taking an argument to the new government for a fairer, more sustainable deal for our cities. These proposals reflect our current financial position and how we can provide adequate services without spreading ourselves hopelessly thin.

– Marvin Rees, Mayor of Bristol