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Five Wolverhampton libraries saved from axe

Wolverhampton | News | Published:

Five closure-threatened libraries in Wolverhampton were today saved from the axe – but the fate of four others was sealed, despite huge campaigns from supporters.

Thousands of people joined forces to campaign against Wolverhampton City Council plans to shut or merge nine libraries in a bid to save £1.1 million a year.

And this afternoon council bosses announced Finchfield, East Park, Low Hill, Whitmore Reans and Penn libraries would remain open as they are.

Others at Warstones, Ashmore Park and Spring Vale will close and be moved elsewhere, while Collingwood Library in Bushbury will close and be relocated as a self-service facility.

A final decision is yet to be made over Bilston Library. Council bosses have come under fire for the controversial plans to create a series of "community hubs" across the city by merging library, community and youth services.

Thousands signed petitions objecting.

East Park will convert into a community hub from 2014 but campaigners won a crucial victory in persuading the council to leave it in its present location.

Councillor Elias Mattu said: "People told us, please, do your best to protect these services. That's precisely what we aim to achieve."

Long Knowle, Pendeford and Wednesfield libraries will not move but will also be converted to provide community and youth centres. Of the city's 13 youth clubs, nine will stay as they are and four – Ashmore Park, Low Hill, Mirage in Pendeford and Oakley Buckley Youth Club in Penn – will move in with libraries.

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