TWO inner-city libraries are under threat of closure, Newport council has revealed.
Newport council officers have invited comments from residents on proposals to shut Maindee and Stow Hill libraries.
The authority’s cabinet member, Debbie Wilcox, says the closures are a necessity so the authority can continue to provide “an excellent service”, with the authority facing shrinking budgets and needing to make savings.
She said: “I know that both venues have a long history of delivering an excellent service to residents and people will be attached to their local library, but the current economic climate has made it impossible for us to continue to deliver all of our services in the traditional way.
“We are proud of our library service and we are fortunate that we have so many libraries in the city.
“However, we are considering these closures as a necessity so we can continue providing an excellent service to all our residents in other premises and through the greater use of technology.”
The proposals, announced yesterday following a query from the Argus, were not included in the 2013/14 draft budget consultation.
Maindee and Stow Hill libraries were selected because of the closeness to other sites, such as the central library in the city centre.
The authority says all residents will still be within two miles of a library, as set down in national guidelines.
The closures will result in a saving of £58,000 in 2013/14.
It said efforts would be made to redeploy staff affected by the closures into vacant posts in other premises.
The Argus understands that proposals are also being examined on changing the opening times of the ten remaining static libraries outside the city centre, which could result in shorter opening hours for some libraries.
Comments on the proposal can be made at www.newport.gov.uk/haveyoursay by Friday 25 January.