Bristol libraries could be saved after council u-turn

Bristol libraries could be saved after council u-turn

Bristol City Council could keep six of seven libraries which were facing closure open, following public protests.

A consultation on the future of the city’s library service closed at the beginning of July, with more than 4,600 responses being received.

The council wanted to save £1.1m from its library budget for 2016/17, and had proposed shutting libraries in Clifton, Redland, Sea Mills, Marksbury Road in Bedminster, Westbury, Wick Road in Brislington and Eastville.

But mayor George Ferguson has already said “fresh proposals” have been made, reported the BBC, which say Eastville could close or relocate, while the other six libraries could remain open, although with reduced staff and opening hours.

The council has previously said there is a need to “modernise” the library service. It says its aim is to “develop a vibrant and sustainable service, which better responds to the way more of our citizens live their lives and can provide additional benefits to communities”.

Ferguson said reducing staffing instead of closing the libraries would save the authority about £500,000.

He said: “If we do go down this line, we've got to find £635,00 from elsewhere. So I've got establish if that's possible because that will cut into some other service."

The council’s cabinet will consider the full proposals in September.