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Leak reveals which library services face the axe with 22 jobs likely to go

Plans to build a new library in Luxborough Street fell through at a cost to the taxpayer of more than £1.3million

26 November, 2016 — By Alina Polianskaya

Labour’s Paul Dimoldenberg

FIGURES have revealed which libraries will lose staff in the council’s massive £750,000 cuts programme.

Posts may be axed at Charing Cross, Queen’s Park, Victoria, Westminster Music Library, City of Westminster Archives and Westminster Reference Library.

The council said 22 posts from a total 116 were likely to be affected but said it could not comment on the figures until a consultation was concluded as it would be “unsettling for staff”.

Labour councillor Paul Dimoldenberg said: “These latest figures show how the cuts will fall on each library.

“Residents in Marylebone, Charing Cross and Victoria have been hit particularly hard and their libraries will have fewer staff to help maintain the library service.

“Once again, Westminster Conservatives are hitting local communities and reducing local services.”

As previously revealed, Marylebone Library will bear the biggest brunt of the cuts with more than 17 full-time staff set for the chop.

The cuts at Marylebone coincide with the library’s move from a temporary building in Beaumont Street, to a smaller space in New Caven­dish Street.

Plans to build a new library in Luxborough Street fell through at a cost to the taxpayer of more than £1.3million – though the council maintain they are still committed to bringing a new library to the area.

More than 170 people have signed a petition, launched by Westminster Labour, opposing the cuts and calling for a consultation.

The petition says: “We the undersigned petition Westminster City Council to halt its planned cut of £750,000 from the library service budget that would see the equivalent of 17½ full-time members of staff, mostly librarians, lose their jobs.

“The council should open a full public consultation and find alternative methods for raising the funding required in order to protect Westminster’s vital library service.”

The council said: “We do not plan to close any libraries or reduce our opening hours. We will continue to have a strong workforce offering an outstanding and professional library service.”

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