Sefton and Manchester: libraries latest

Sefton and Manchester: libraries latest

Seven libraries look set to close in Sefton in Merseyside after councillors approved plans to save £400,000 from their library budget.

However in Manchester there has been a short-term reprieve for a further six libraries.

In Sefton, the libraries are due to be closed by the end of the year, though community groups are invited to submit proposals to keep some of the branches open. The council also approved plans to try and mitigate the impact of the closures, including abolishing reservation charges and increasing opening hours elsewhere.

Up to 40 staff could lose their jobs as a result of closures, with up to 19 full-time posts at risk.

Sefton council leader Peter Dowd told the Southport Visitor: "We have made the decision that several libraries will be closed but the fact that we are still talking to the groups and that some of the libraries may remain open if they come up with a sustainable and feasible plan shows that we haven't just drawn a line and said 'They are going to close, thank you very much, we're not talking about it any more'."

Meanwhile, several libraries in Manchester will remain open past their planned closure date after campaigners urged the council to change their plans.

Six libraries under threat of closure were due to shut on 29th June as the city council looked to make budget savings, prompting protests from campaigners.

Now, the council has amended its plans, with the branches set to remain open until full plans are drawn up detailing how the services will be scaled back.

Each of the six libraries will also retain a professional librarian, while the council looks to alter the service with changes such as co-locating the facilities or getting different organisations such as community groups to take over their running.

Graham Pheby, a spokesman for Northenden Library Action Group, campaigning to save one of the threatened libraries, told the Manchester Evening News: "Our group are not accepting this situation. We have had enough ­ and we are aiming to continue our campaign until we get the library we were promised and for which there is a significant need."