LIBRARIES FACE FINAL CHAPTER; by Pounds 2m Y Get Slashed Y Will See Budget Gest Cuts in Council's History W Biggest B B Gg Gge Ges Est St Cut Uts Ts in Council's 'S H Tory Ry Will Se See Ee Budge Shed Ed by 2 Pounds 2m
Byline: Les Reid
LIBRARIES in Warwickshire are set to close to help fund a massive 30 per cent cut in the service.
Details emerged as Coventry council chiefs pledged to keep all its libraries open, while reducing opening hours at Central Library in the city centre. The biggest cuts in the County Council's history include slashing the annual libraries budget by pounds 2 million by 2014.
The smallprint of budget plans for huge council-wide pounds 60m cuts over three years states: "This would involve taking pounds 1million out of management, support and overhead costs. The remainder would be achieved by changing the service offer including closing libraries."
Ruling Conservative councillors at Shire Hall are set to face protests from communities to any library closures as councils tackle massive government funding cuts.
Coventry City Council deputy leader George Duggins pledged none of the city's libraries would close.
But he said an ongoing review of library services was seeking savings by changing staff rotas and only cutting opening hours at Central Library, Smithford Way, city centre. Library fees will also rise. There are 34 libraries in Warwickshire - twice as many as in Coventry. Other councils - including Coventry in recent years - have selected which libraries should close based on running costs and whether local communities can be served in other ways.
The four Warwickshire libraries with the highest costs per visitor are Atherstone, Baddesley Ensor, Kineton and Wolston and could therefore be in the firing line. …