MAINDEE and Carnegie libraries are to close and services at Central Library are to be reduced after a vote by Newport City Council’s Cabinet.

Nine full time jobs will be lost under the plans, which were approved at a meeting yesterday morning.

The stock of the current reference library will be brought into the space where the lending library currently is.

Cabinet member for leisure and culture, Cllr Mark Whitcutt said “nobody relished” having to make the changes but it was “entirely necessary”.

A Cabinet report said closing Maindee and Carnegie libraries has the “least impact” as they are closest to the city centre.

The decision follows months of changes in the council’s project to transform library services.

An initial plan to close the Central Library building was revealed in November but large numbers of people opposed it in a public consultation.

Instead, it was decided to keep the building and create one front of house team for the museum, art gallery and library in order to save money.

Malpas library was saved from closure after a community group offered to take over the running of the building and open 20 hours a week.

It is hoped the changes will save £232,815 in 2015/16, with a net benefit of £61,340 after £171,475 is spent on putting the plans in place. In 2016/17, the council’s net benefit would be £103,663.

Two public consultations have taken place since November last year.

The second one saw 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 about transport difficulties and mobility issues if other libraries were to close.

The changes will see eight library assistants and an operations librarian made redundant. The vacant post of a development and resources manager will also be deleted.

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.

Newport resident Ieuan Berry called the closure of Maindee “outrageous”. He said: “Many people use the library and the services offered. And It’s a social centre for many, and lots of people who don’t have internet use it”.

Mr Whitcutt said: “We have done our upmost to attempt to safeguard library provision and the library service is extremely important to us. We believe that this is the best way of doing it.”

Elsewhere, Ringland, Rogerstone and Bettws libraries will all continue to open 40 hours a week.

Cabinet Chair, Cllr Bob Bright, said the council needs to explore working with local volunteers to run libraries.

He said he had received a letter from a local group of library supporters who were asking how they could help by offering alternative funding.

Mr Bright said: “We need to explore every opportunity of working with the community and volunteer groups. Everybody knows the austerity is upon us.”