LIBRARY opening hours in Newport have fallen by 20 per cent over the past years, new figures have shown

A Newport City Council report revealed the city’s libraries were open for 112 hours per 1,000 people, or 16,688 hours in total, in the 2015-2016 financial year. But in the following year this fell by 22 per cent to 87 hours per 1,000, or 12,963 hours overall.

This is far below the Welsh Government’s target of 120 hours per 1,000 people, which would amount to 17,880 hours across the year in Newport.

The report also showed the council’s budget for library services fell by 10 per cent from £1.05 million in 2015-2016 to £942,000 the next year. This, which equates to £6,745 per 1,000 people, is the lowest libraries budget in the whole of Wales.

But the report, an annual return to the Welsh Government, also showed the number of people visiting the city’s libraries had rocketed by 320 per cent, albeit from 14 people per 1,000 to 59 per 1,000.

Spending on books and other resources also increased by 21 per cent over the same period.