Bristol Libraries Update

The Mayor has announced that all Bristol libraries will stay open until at least May 2020.
This has been reported in the Bristol Post online, and can be viewed at: www.bristolpost.co.uk/news/bristol-news/bristols-libraries-saved-for-now-1690333

A summary of the article is as follows:

Marvin Rees is rolling back a programme of punishing cuts which would have seen 17 of the city’s 27 libraries close.
The Bristol Mayor has now performed a complete u-turn and announced he is scrapping plans to save £1.4million from the library’s budget.
However the long term future of the city’s library service is by no means certain as Mr Rees has only committed to maintaining current levels of funding up to the next mayoral election in 2020.
And speaking at the endangered Wick Road library on Tuesday, June 19, he warned the service is not fit for purpose as it stands.
“Thanks to my all-Labour administration’s responsibility with council taxpayers’ money, we have found a way to safeguard funds and use reserves to cover the £1.4 million annual shortfall caused by the former Mayor’s overspend and continuing cuts from the Conservative government in Westminster,” he said.
“Next week a cabinet report will be published setting out plans for how my administration can invest to keep every single library in Bristol open. We are looking forward to continuing to work with local community groups and councillors to transform and modernise our library service into the future, building on the work of local Labour councillors Estella Tincknell and Jo Sergeant – both former branch librarians.”
The Labour Mayor hopes to rally community support to change the shape of Bristol’s existing library provision, and is calling on local groups to step forward to give their ideas on how to make facilities more economical.
While your view of the various statements in the article may be coloured by your political views, it does appear that the threat of imminent closure of our libraries has been removed for now…
The cabinet meeting to accept the report should take place in early July and we will, or course, update you as soon as any more information becomes available…

Malcolm Neave
pp Westbury Library Group

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