Sandwell Conservative leader hits out at plans to slash libraries' hours
The leader of Sandwell's opposition Conservative group today urged the Labour-run council to abandon plans to further slash library opening hours and saying 'enough is enough'.
Borough library opening hours have already been slashed to cope with budget cuts. Now in order to cut £300,000 from the libraries budget this year, opening could be reduced by an extra 25 hours across the 20 council-run facilities.
This is despite attendance figures rising by more than 300,000 in three years. Councillor Mavis Hughes said she was 'amazed'. "I could not believe it when I found out. We protested the last time and now it's happening again. Libraries are very important places in Sandwell – as a community base, for education. I feel enough is enough."
The library that will be hardest hit is Langley, which could have its hours cut from 36 to 31 per week, with a complete closure on Tuesday afternoons.
But Val Dale, the chair of the Friends of Wednesbury Library, said she sympathised with the council. "I think this is the better of two evils," she said. "We would rather have this, than libraries closing altogether."