Mid Wales

Powys public libraries under threat in service review

Nearly two-thirds of the public libraries in Powys could close as part of a local authority's aim to plug a funding gap of £40m over the next three years.

Powys council has launched a review of its library services in a bid to save £350,000 from next April.

Options include closing 11 of the county's 17 public libraries.

It will launch a two-month long consultation on proposals later in the spring.

The council will also consider handing over services to community councils, reducing opening hours and using mobile libraries to mitigate the effects of the proposed cuts.

It has already conducted an impact assessment on the option of closing 11 libraries. The assessment revealed that the council wanted to ease the impact of this option by looking to transfer management of a number of branches to local communities.

Powys council's cabinet member for libraries, Graham Brown, said: "The council is investigating a number of options. That work includes carrying out equality impact assessments into possible options, but no decisions have been made.

"When we have identified possible proposals for service change we will consult with the public and service users.

"We hope to be in a position to clarify those options in the coming weeks."

Controversial plans to save around £20m this year were approved by Powys councillors in March.

The council is also trying to identify ways of saving £40m by April 2017.

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