West Berkshire to axe half its library staff

West Berkshire to axe half its library staff

West Berkshire Council has voted to axe almost half of its library staff, with volunteers expected to fill the vacancies, Newbury Today has reported.

In a bid to help the council save £580,000 a year, the cuts will see seven of the districts nine libraries manned by a single staff member, who will be supported by volunteers.

Wash Common library will be closed, while Newbury’s library will undergo a “restructuring” of its staff.

The move will see one of the mobile libraries retained.

Councillor Dominic Boeck said: "The grim reality we face in terms of squeezed budgets is that we can no longer afford to run the service as we've done in the past."

Last year, eight of the regions libraries were saved from closure following intervention from the DCMS. The council made proposals to close the libraries – as well as two mobile libraries – in order to save £730,000.