Mid Wales

Hay-on-Wye: Town of books could lose its library

Hay-on-Wye bookshop sign

While Hay-on-Wye is known around the world as the town of books, it could be set to lose its public library.

Powys council said the county-wide service is being reviewed as it tries to save £250,000 by April 2019.

Town mayor Fiona Howard called the move "not morally right", saying residents had been asked to raise £18,000 a year to keep it open.

If a funding solution cannot be found by the end of October, a consultation on closure could start.

Speaking to BBC Radio Wales' Jason Mohammad programme, Ms Howard called the 70 people who attended a public meeting "a massive turnout".

She added the library was supported by the Hay (literary) Festival and recognised as important.

The council's deputy leader Graham Brown said: "We know that our libraries are much loved and valued by Powys residents and we don't want to see any branch close if we can avoid it."

However, he said total council budget savings of £29.8m needed to be found by 2019.

Negotiations with town councils have centred on whether they will contribute 50% of costs and take on the running of the 11 branch libraries.

A money-saving suggestion for Hay-on-Wye is moving the library to a new primary school when it opens in 2017.

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