Five libraries to shut in Southampton

Five libraries to shut in Southampton

Southampton City Council has approved plans to shut five libraries in the area unless community groups come forward to run them.

The authority made the decision at a cabinet meeting last night (18th August), reported the Daily Echo.

The council will stop running Cobbett Road, Burgess Road, Millbrook, Thornhill and Weston libraries next April.

Southampton will also close its mobile library as part of the bid to save £286,000.

The closures will mean the loss of six jobs.

Last week Southampton residents branded their council leisure chief a “disgrace” at a meeting to discuss the closure of six libraries in the area.

Conservative finance spokesman John Hannides said closing them would be "probably the most savage and appalling set of proposals we have seen in a generation, it is nothing short of butchery”.

While a Labour council member, Cathie McEwing, said she did not understand why the final decision was going just to the cabinet and not the full council for a full debate.

However, Labour cabinet member Satvir Kaur, member for communities, culture and leisure, said community groups could take on the libraries to create a “sustainable” future for the service. She also cited successful examples of community-led libraries in Sheffield and Lewisham.