Tories Against Library Closures

THE Tory leader on Stockport Council has warned its Lib-Dem administration over his opposition to any future closure of libraries in the borough.

Phase 1 of the consultation, which is currently to reduce opening hours, was completed on July 6 and included views from the users of libraries in Bramhall and Cheadle,.

Phase 2 included Cheadle Hulme, Heald Green and Stockport’s Central Library.

Under the plans, opening hours will be reduced at 13 of the 15 libraries across the borough. Only Marple and Hazel Grove escaped the latest cuts are their hours were reduced earlier this year.

Council bosses claim by losing 91 opening hours the authority will save £160,000.

Tory leader Councillor Syd Lloyd said: “We would not be in favour of closing libraries. The current Lib-Dem plan is to take out seven hours from each of the 13 libraries involved, and on the face of it, it seems to be the most sensible way to do it.

“We have to find the savings from somewhere and we believe this way minimises disruption to the public. However, we would also not be in favour of closing any library during peak hours.”

Coun Mark Weldon the executive member for Stockport Council’s community services said the second phase was completed on August 17.

He explained: “The proposals to consider reducing hours are based on a robust analysis of all library usage: loan data, computer use and visitor numbers, to find out their least busy times.”

The feedback from both consultations will be discussed by the authority’s executive and if approved, will take effect from January, 2014.