Council pledges to keep libraries

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PORTSMOUTH City Council has pledged to keep open all its libraries.

The authority has also promised to build a new one at the former Woolworths in Palmerston Road, Southsea.

Council leader Gerald Vernon-Jackson said no libraries will shut in Portsmouth as a consequence of the upcoming council budget.

He said: ‘We’ve worked hard to find ways of saving money, but we recognise how important libraries are for our communities.

‘This is why we’ve decided to keep nine open.’

Cllr Lee Hunt, cabinet member for culture, said: ‘I’m glad everyone will still be able to access their local library.

‘With tough financial pressures, keeping libraries open doesn’t come without having to make other difficult decisions in order to make savings to the library budget.

‘Residents can still benefit from libraries but regretfully we are currently proposing to make savings through management and specialist posts.’

The present Elm Grove Library will be replaced by Southsea Library from the summer of this year.