Portsmouth library cafe tenders go out

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THE management of two library cafes in Portsmouth has gone out for tender.

The city council has shut ones it runs at Portsmouth Central Library and Southsea Library while it finds new operators for them. The move is part of a bid to save money and the cafes are expected to reopen in early January.

Lindy Elliott, library services manager, said: ‘We’re undergoing a procurement process to secure a catering offer for both libraries.

‘At the same time, a review of the council’s direct provision of catering has taken place and, regrettably, the changes to this provision have been implemented at a slightly earlier stage than we had anticipated.

‘This will mean that there is a short period of time when we are unable to provide a catering service in either library. We are working as quickly as possible to secure a new offer and anticipate that we will be interviewing potential new providers in early January.’

Councillor Luke Stubbs, deputy Conservative group leader, fears that closing Southsea Library could lead to regularly customers finding somewhere new.

‘The cafe has been a major draw for visitors,’ he said.

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