Bristol cabinet to consider proposal to keep all Libraries open

A report to Bristol City Council’s cabinet has recommended that all of Bristol’s 27 libraries should be retained, while future options for community led facilities are explored.

Under the proposals, which would see any shortfall in 2018/19 funded by the Mayor’s consultation reserves, current opening hours and arrangements would stay the same, with a further paper coming to Cabinet in October to outline how the council aims to trial new approaches and work with the community moving forward. If agreed, this would mean that the savings targets previously set for the library services would be removed to allow other options to be investigated.

Mayor of Bristol Marvin Rees said: “We have listened to the results of the consultation and other public forums and we understand the concerns people have about losing their much loved library service. We have continued to hold meetings and discussions with members of the public and as a result the recommendation to Cabinet is to keep all our libraries open to give us more time to explore community led options.

“We all know that the service needs to modernise and that it is likely to look very different in 10 years’ time, but we need to consider that change carefully and in line with the pace of community support and action. My administration is working hard in the background to put the council’s finances back on a sound footing and give communities the space to make this possible. This is an opportunity for communities to come forward and help trial new ways of delivering library services for all the citizens of Bristol and we need everyone to come forward to make sure we continue to build a library service we can all be proud of.”

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