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Cheshire East Council to close libraries and care centres to help save £20m

Alderley Edge Library Image copyright Google
Image caption Alderley Edge Library is one of five earmarked for closure by the council

Five libraries and two care centres have been earmarked for closure as part of a council's efforts to save £20m.

Cheshire East Council's budget plan for 2018/21 would also see council tax raised by 4.99% from April 2018.

The Conservative-led council's budget was under "severe pressure" due to funding cuts and more demand for care services, councillor Paul Bates said.

The council's Labour group leader Sam Corcoran said he had "significant concerns" about the proposals

Libraries in Alderley Edge, Disley and Prestbury will close to save £150,000 under the proposals, with branches in Holmes Chapel and Bollington considered for closure in future years.

Community organisations have been asked to put forward proposals to run the under-threat branches as "as an alternative to closure", a council spokesman said.

'Robust action'

The budget will also see council care centres at Lincoln House in Crewe and Mountview in Congleton mothballed, and reviews held of parking charges and bus transport for primary school pupils.

Cuts to subsidised bus services, approved earlier this month, will also save £1m a year from April and a series of cuts will also be made to adults' and children's care services.

The council spokesman said the number of adults needing social care support had been increasing by 4% every year and the number of children in social care placements went up by 17% in the last year.

He added that the council would be making £1m available each year for local communities to spend on "local priorities".

Mr Bates, who is the council's finance and communication portfolio holder, said "robust action" was being taken to "reduce budgetary pressures and ensure balanced finances".

Mr Corcoran said the budget showed local councils were "having to do the dirty work of the government's austerity programme".

The council has begun a consultation on its proposals, which will run until January.

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