Hereford at risk of library closures

Hereford at risk of library closures

Herefordshire Council is due to meet this week to discuss cuts to its budget that could see several libraries closed.

Campaigners have started a petition against library closures, claiming that libraries in the county could lose 75% of their budget, with 11 of the county’s 12 libraries in line to be closed.

An agenda for the council’s cabinet meeting, to be held on Thursday (16th May), shows that the council will seek to look for external groups to run the service. A report into the council’s culture and leisure said: “Recognising the statutory duties within the area, the next step is to engage with partners, stakeholders, service users and staff on alternative delivery models that will enable services to be provided with little or no council subsidy.

"The full range of options will be explored from community-led delivery to income-generation opportunities and selective closures, service reductions and reduced opening hours. A detailed cabinet report is to be expected in September 2013 and some of the management changes can be implemented in advance of the cabinet decision.”

The council needs to make an extra £8.4m savings from its budget for 2013/14, which the Hereford Times reports could mean 300 council job losses.

A petition posted on the 38 Degress website has collected more than 1,900 signatures since it was posted.