Vale Council leader dismisses library closure fears

Penarth Times: LIBRARY SERVICES: The Leader of the Vale Council has said there are no plans to close libraries in the Vale (5526108) LIBRARY SERVICES: The Leader of the Vale Council has said there are no plans to close libraries in the Vale (5526108)

THE LEADER of the Vale Council has dismissed fears that libraries across the Vale are threatened with close.

Rumours had circulated that all the paid employees at Dinas Powys library would be replaced with volunteers and that libraries across the Vale could face closure as a result of budget cuts.

A petition set up urging the council to 'Keep Vale Libraries Open' gathered huge support within hours of being launched.

A similar petition launched to save Penarth Library, amid fears that it could be closed or services would be cut, was signed by more than 1,000 people last year.

It comes after a month-long consultation into the future use of library services across the Vale.

On Monday, April 28, the Vale Council’s cabinet will consider a report on the future of library services in the Vale after studying the results of the consultation.

Councillor Neil Moore, the leader of the Vale Council, said that no libraries would close under the proposals, but instead "the council is considering working in partnership with community groups and volunteers to broaden the use of libraries".

He added that no changes to library services in the Vale had been agreed, but that "due to the financial pressure that we are currently facing, cabinet will later this month be considering a report on the future of libraries in the Vale. No library closures are being proposed."

During last year's consultation local residents were asked questions about what services they use at the library and how often, and what other services they would like there.

Cllr Moore added: "The proposed changes that will be given consideration are the result of an in-depth review of the library service and have been shaped by a programme of consultation with both library users and library staff. Following consideration by Cabinet the report will then be referred to the Lifelong Learning Scrutiny Committee for their comment. Further engagement with the local community will also be required.”

He added that no library services staff had been issued with notices of redundancy, but that if there were changes the council would work hard to ensure "any impact on staff is minimal"

“It is our policy to engage with staff at the earliest opportunity on issues that may affect them," he said.

"For this reason library managers have had some initial discussions with staff.

"In the event of any change to how library services are delivered we will work very hard to ensure that any impact on staff is minimal."

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