West Berkshire library closures 'unimaginable'

Hungerford library Image copyright Basher Eyre
Image caption Hungerford library could be one of eight libraries to close in West Berkshire, under council proposals

Proposals to close eight out of nine libraries in West Berkshire would be "unimaginable, unthinkable and unworkable", according to a campaigner.

West Berkshire Council has announced a public consultation on the idea of shutting the majority of libraries and two mobile library services.

The council plans to save £730,000 from the libraries budget, amid £17.5m of savings across council services.

If the plan was implemented, Newbury Library would be the only one kept.

The proposals come after the BBC received leaked information earlier this month that the council was considering closing the majority of its libraries.

'Unimaginable, unthinkable, unworkable'

The public consultation will end on 7 March and council spokesman Roger Croft said: "It's really important that people take the time to consider our proposals and have their say."

Hungerford community magazine editor David Piper said the potential closures would be "unimaginable, unthinkable and unworkable".

He added: "Everyone in the whole of West Berkshire will have to go to Newbury for the library.

"It's going to be incredibly tough."

The council said its revenue support grant from central government was being reduced by 44%, which could mean cuts to substance misuse services and The West Berkshire Museum, as well as the potential library closures.

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