Birmingham moots library cooperative model

Birmingham moots library cooperative model

Birmingham could set up a cooperative model with staff in order to keep its 39 libraries open.

Birmingham City Council's deputy leader Ian Ward told the Birmingham Mail that a deal was "close to being agreed".

The model would see librarians running the service, with all of the 39 facilities kept open. However, it would lead to job losses, as the council looks for areas to implement a further £69m of cuts this year.

Ward said: "It is now looking very likely that we will go down the staff cooperative route and that it is very unlikely we will be closing any libraries. There will regrettably be some job losses through this process, but the service to the public will remain.”

A deal is unlikely to be finalised before the general election. It will not affect the Library of Birmingham, which will see opening hours slashed by almost half, with up to 100 members of staff losing their jobs.