Liverpool moves closer to library closures

Liverpool moves closer to library closures

Liverpool Council has approved plans to close up to 11 libraries.

The closure plans were given the green light at a cabinet meeting this morning (15th August), and will now go forward to a four week public consultation. Opposition councillors have already called in the decision for scrunity by the council's cultural select committee.

The Liverpool Echo quoted Mayor Joe Anderson, who blamed the government for forcing the council to make cuts. He said: "Whether you like it or you don’t, this government has imposed £332m of cuts on us in the last three years and the next three years." Objectors said the moves would turn a "city of culture into a city of philistines".

If the plans go ahead, 11 of the city's 19 libraries could be closed if not passed to volunteers, which the council hopes will save £2.5m - part of the £157m the city needs to save by 2016/17. Authors and campaigners including Alan Gibbons have already spoken out against the cuts, calling the plans "a blow to the culture of reading in the city [that] could impact on the city’s long term social and economic wellbeing."

Similar steps have been taken in the Vale of Glamorgan, where the council has rubber-stamped parts of its own library plans in an attempt to save £500,000 a year.

Five of the nine libraries in the area could become community managed if the plans are confirmed following a public consultation.