NEWPORT’S Central Library could close and 13 full time jobs lost under a library services review being considered by the city council.

The closure of the Central Library, which needs an estimated £2.5 million of repairs, has been highlighted as the way to maximise savings and help Newport City Council meet the library services budget cuts needed for 2016/17.

A number of options have been put forward to make the £268,000 savings, with the worst case scenario seeing Newport left with just four out of its current nine libraries.

A policy review group, set up by the learning, caring and leisure scrutiny committee, said that the council does not need to provide a central library under its statutory obligations but raised concerns about the future of the Newport Museum and Art Gallery which is also housed in the five-storey Central Library building in John Frost Square.

The review will be considered at a scrutiny committee tomorrow.

The report sets out three different levels of library service; gold which would be to keep all nine libraries open, silver which would see four library “hubs” retained and Tredegar House and Caerleon kept open for a minimum of 20 hours and bronze which would be for only four library “hubs” to remain open.

The “hubs” would be open for a minimum of 40 hours a week and will provide a full range of services. They would be supported by co-located sites such as Tredegar House and deposit collections.

The group has declined to identify a preferred option to councillors, who will need to debate and agree on whether to offer a silver or bronze level of library service throughout the city.

The report states that no library service should be withdrawn without looking at solutions including moving a library service to a school or community centre or using volunteers.

Two other proposals to retain some form of city centre library provision are for the council to work with Queensbury to negotiate taking over a retail unit in the Kingsway Centre or to work with the University of South Wales, which would require significant investment as the current university library is unsuitable.

The report states: “Whilst we recognise that provision in the current building [Central Library] is no longer sustainable, we feel that a growing city should have a city centre library and museum.

“The group has concerns over the future of the museum if the current building on John Frost Square is to close, and this needs to be resolved before any decision can be taken over the future of this building.”

The museum and library share running costs of the building.

Options set out in the report include four ‘silver’ level options and four ‘bronze’ level options.

The silver level would see Caerleon and Tredegar House kept open as co-located sites, Ringland and Rogerstone retained as hubs and either Bettws or Malpas and Central or Carnegie libraries closed.

The bronze level would see the same options but without the Caerleon and Tredegar House sites.

Bettws library was renovated in 2012 and has no backlog maintenance bill whereas Malpas would need repairs of £27,000 and Carnegie, £31,000.

Maindee Library is not highlighted as one of the libraries to be kept open in any of the options.

A silver model option, which includes the closure of the Central Library, would involve 11.8 full time job losses and savings of £334,000 made.

A bronze model option, which includes the closure of Central Library, would involve 13.5 full time job losses and savings of £420,000 made.

If the Central Library remained as one of the four hubs and service reduced to one floor of the building, 6.3 full time jobs would be lost with £224,000 savings made.