go

Temporary reprieve for six libraries facing closure

West Berkshire Council says £475,000 will 'help' keep some libraries open - for now - but two still set to close

Dan Cooper

Reporter:

Dan Cooper

Contact:

01635 886632

Protestors march against library closure proposals

SIX of the district's libraries are set to be given a temporary reprieve after West Berkshire Council proposed to make £475,000 of 'transitional funding' available to them- but two are still set to close.

The council says the £475,000 - given to them by central government to help 'soften' the blow of the cuts - is only temporary and designed to allow those services affected more time to adjust.

The council was proposing to close all but one of the district's nine libraries and the mobile library service as part of its plan to save £17.5m in the next financial year - leaving just Newbury open.

But today's announcement means that all but two libraries - Thatcham, Hungerford, Lambourn, Pangbourne, Burghfield and Mortimer - will remain open in the short-term at least.

However, no funding is proposed to be made available to Theale or Wash Common and as a result, these libraries are expected to close this year unless volunteers come forward to run them.

The council has warned that this money is only temporary and designed to give libraries time to move to a 'different funding model'

Of the remaining £525,000 of transitional funding, £337,000 will be made available to delay the funding cuts to bus services.

A total of £56,000 will be made available to the Corn Exchange and £50,000 to children's centres.

Another £50,000 will be made available to the West Berkshire Neighbourhood Wardens.

In total, £25,000 of transitional funding will be made available to the Domestic Abuse Response Team and £25,000 to the Citizens Advice Bureau.

Council leader Roger Croft said: "We need to be clear that this money is a lifeline which will enable these services to move to a more sustainable funding model.

"In particular, it will allow us to work with partners, community groups and parishes to secure these services in the long term."

Burghfield and Mortimer libraries will merge after the council voted in favour of approving its first phase of cuts earlier this month. The move will save the council £90,000.

Leave your comment

Share your opinions on Newbury Weekly News

Characters left: 1000

Article comments

  • Lynda

    19/03/2016 - 11:11

    The Theale petition was the 4th largest put forward, Theale is a growing community with sites for 400 new homes allocated and 57 flats for over 55's and a new junior school - just where are people supposed to go for books or computer access! Is it because Theale comes under Reading West that West Berkshire council don't seem to care about us?

    Reply

  • Oldmoaner

    17/03/2016 - 11:11

    You have to wonder just how bad their accountancy is, we have to make these cuts, cause public mayhem and then find £1.4 million. What a bunch of amateurs. If the government used the money proposed for their disastrous widening of the M4 they could keep all our services running.

    Reply

  • Librarysaver

    16/03/2016 - 18:06

    Common sense and people power has won the day sorry to hear about the closure of Wash Common and Theale. What about the mobile libraries no mention of them staying or going>

    Reply

    • Bombey

      17/03/2016 - 11:11

      Don't get the bunting out just yet. All it is is a stay of execution. If people want libraries to stay open, they'll have to pay for them. One way or another.

      Reply

    • Bombey

      17/03/2016 - 11:11

      Don't get the bunting out just yet. All it is is a stay of execution. If people want libraries to stay open, they'll have to pay for them. One way or another.

      Reply

    • Bombey

      17/03/2016 - 11:11

      Don't get the bunting out just yet. All it is is a stay of execution. If people want libraries to stay open, they'll have to pay for them. One way or another.

      Reply

    • Bombey

      17/03/2016 - 11:11

      Don't get the bunting out just yet. All it is is a stay of execution. If people want libraries to stay open, they'll have to pay for them. One way or another.

      Reply

    • Bombey

      17/03/2016 - 11:11

      Don't get the bunting out just yet. All it is is a stay of execution. If people want libraries to stay open, they'll have to pay for them. One way or another.

      Reply

  • PhilW

    16/03/2016 - 17:05

    Should have read to the end. Burghfield & Mortimer are still merging. So three will go?

    Reply

Show more comments

News

Residents provided flood advice ahead of winter
News

Residents provided flood advice ahead of winter

Pang Valley Flood Forum holds flood fair

 
Village sub saved from extinction
News

Village pub saved from extinction

Chaddleworth's Ibex Inn re-opens

 
All Districts

Bid for 199 homes comes under fire

 
News

Thatcham dealers sentenced to seven years behind bars

 
News

Aldermaston photographer captures image of new high speed train

2comments