Warning of major threat to Welsh library services

Warning of major threat to Welsh library services

A Welsh council leader has warned that entire local authority library departments could be at risk as a result of budget cuts.

Gwynedd council lead Dyfed Edwards is reported to have told the Welsh Local Government Association conference in Cardiff that the ring-fencing of budgets in areas such as education and social services meant that core areas including libraries would have to be looked at "in their entirety".

“What are going to have to do in local government is map out exactly what we think the effect our budgets will have on frontline services. The equation takes into account our education and social services are protected, which is about 80% of our budget," Edwards said. “Then we have about 15-20% of the budget, taking into account other ring-fenced grants, to play with. If we have to make savings there, we cannot continue shaving off here and there—we will have to look at services in their entirety.

“I think it is important the government—local government as well as ministers—understand this is where we are.”

Edwards identified that large, rural constituencies like Gwynedd would face particular issues maintaining services.