Coventry & Warwickshire

Warwickshire library service cuts approved

Dordon Library protest by Gill Brierley
Image caption A protest outside Dordon Library showed support during the consultation process

Warwickshire County Council's cabinet has approved cuts to its library service which will see 120 jobs axed.

Two library buildings will close, 18 will continue with reduced hours and 16 will only remain open if run by community groups.

The service needs to save £2m, 30% of its current funding, as its contribution towards the council's savings target of £70m by 2014.

The changes will come into place by the start of April 2012.

The proposals for libraries to be run by community groups are subject to them securing funding by then.

In Baddesley Ensor and Binley Woods, the libraries would close and move into the village hall.

Self-service kiosk

An honesty library would be created in Bedworth Heath and in Bidford on Avon and Bulkington, volunteers could take over the existing library.

In Camp Hill the library could be turned into a business and in Dordon there are plans for a community library and dance school.

Hartshill could become a self-service kiosk in the church hall and Henley-in-Arden library could move into the Guildhall.

Councillor Colin Hayfield, portfolio holder for customers, access and physical assets, said: "People's needs and expectations from libraries are changing and we have to meet these within the constraints of finding the necessary savings.

"We know that libraries are deeply valued within communities. We have worked immensely hard, and will continue to do so, to ensure that communities still have access to the services that make libraries so valued."

Other plans include the library in Dunchurch becoming a self-service kiosk while in Harbury it could move into the village school.

In Keresley, residents are looking for funding to stay in the current building and in Kineton the library will stay in its new premises in the village hall.

Kingsbury library could move into the village school while Studley library will close and probably move into the community centre.

In Water Orton the library would become a community library run from its present site.

Capital of £100,000, alongside other county council funding streams and community grants, has been made available for groups to apply for.

The money will cover installing self-service machines and building modifications so they can begin to operate by next April.

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