Union’s call to block Hampshire library cuts plan

From left, Southampton City Council leader Simon Letts, Portsmouth City Council leader Donna Jones, and Isle of Wight Council leader Jonathan Bacon sign the formal application for a Solent Combined Authority in 2016

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TRADE unions have called for Hampshire residents to resist further library cuts.

As The News reported yesterday, Hampshire County Council has begun public consultation over plans to shut all but four of the libraries in our area at least one day per week, and cut 20.5 full time library posts, as it attempts to save £492,000.

It says the cuts are necessary because of government funding reductions, and because the library services have consistently overspent their £18m annual budget in recent years.

But Hampshire Unison convenor Steve Squibbs said: ‘Our libraries provide fantastic value and are one of the council’s best used services, with nearly 7m visits every year. Cutting such a valuable service is a savage indictment of this council. We must demonstrate how much local people value their libraries, which should be fully-funded and professionally-staffed.’

Email unison@hants.gov.uk to join its campaign.