MAINDEE and Carnegie libraries are to find out their fate as a final decision is made next week on Newport’s library service cuts.

Newport City Council’s cabinet will make their decision on proposals to close both Maindee and Carnegie libraries and reduce services at Central Library with the loss of nine full time jobs at a meeting on Monday, June 8.

An initial proposal to close the Central Library building was revealed by the Argus in November last year - but following consultation, the council changed its plans to keep the building and create one front of house team for the museum and art gallery and library service to save money.

The new business case also proposes to close the current reference library and bring all library provision into the space currently occupied by the lending library.

Full council agreed the level of cuts to be made in February when the city’s budget for 2015/16 was passed.

The council hopes the proposals will save £232,815 in 2015/16 with a net benefit of £61,340 after £171,475 is spent on implementing its plans.

In 2016/17 the council’s net benefit would be £103,663.

The implementation costs of £171,475 are based on the estimated redundancy costs for the members of staff whose posts are being deleted, the costs of changing the furniture and counters in the Central Library and a contribution to the costs of reconfiguring Ringland Library.

Original plans proposed to close Malpas library but after discussions with residents, the library was saved on the basis a community management group would take over responsibility for the building and retain a 20-hour library provision.

Further public consultation has been carried out since February’s council meeting with a total of 224 online surveys completed, with 124 responses not agreeing with the proposals, 59 agreeing and 37 unsure.

Concerns were expressed about plans to close the reference library and condense services to the first floor at Central Library and about transport difficulties and mobility issues if other libraries were to close.

Posts affected by the closure include a vacant position of development and resources manager, an operations librarian and eight library assistants.

Two 24-hour library assistant posts will have their hours reduced to 20 hours and two fixed term contract library assistants will not have their contracts renewed. Others are facing redundancy with some already volunteering.

Council officers recommend the cabinet agrees to the proposals as closure of Maindee and Carnegie libraries “has the least impact as the communities affected are closest to the city centre”.

It is however recognised that some will feel the loss of their local libraries and will feel disadvantaged.

In its response to the proposals, trade union UNISON said it is “disappointed that the decision has been taken to close smaller libraries in the city.

“Whilst Newport is described as ‘compact’, consideration must be made to those of older age and with a disability.”