North Somerset Council proposes library changes

Library opening hours and staffing levels are likely to change as North Somerset Council looks to make savings.

The authority said its library service needs to save £347,000 over the next three years and a consultation into its proposals is to take place.

Self-service terminals could also be introduced in most libraries and the local community involved. The council has to save a total of £47.3m.

Views from members of the public will be invited from 16 January.

'Close libraries'

The Conservative-run council said it hoped there would be few, if any, compulsory redundancies.

Vacant positions would not be filled and staff will be offered the option to change their hours or take voluntary redundancy.

Councillor Felicity Baker, from North Somerset Council, said: "Although we face severe financial pressures, our proposals seek to keep services and not to close libraries as other councils have proposed.

"We want to continue to provide library services to communities that currently get them.

"For us to do this we are proposing some changes to opening hours and different ways of working, but this is better than closing libraries completely."

Christina Cook, from Unison in Bristol, said: "Once again the council's cuts are having the greatest impact on the community and the service the community loves.

"It's brilliant to hear that no libraries are closing but the impact of this whole proposal is on significant changes to staff hours and how the libraries will be manned."

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