UP to 30 library staff are set to lose their jobs as bosses start to transform the service across the county in a bid to save £1.8 million.

While none of Worcestershire’s 21 main libraries look like they will close, opening hours will be reduced in some areas and charges for late returns or DVD rentals could go up.

There will also be less money available to buy new stock in but chiefs say that should not have a detrimental impact on the choice available to library customers.

There are stories of hope though – in Pershore the town council will take over the library and keep the facility in the Church Street much to the relief of users and local businesses.

With up to 30 members of staff set to lose their jobs Councillor John Campion, cabinet member for localism and communities, admitted it will have an impact but said: “If we work with communities on a more targeted basis they can still receive a similar service.”

As a result of the job cuts there will be a greater emphasis on self-service but Coun Campion said 90 per cent of transactions across the county are already carried out like that.

The library service is being transformed as part of Worcestershire County Council’s wider aim to cut its budget by up to £70 million over the next few years as a result of reduced Government funding.

So far £191,000 savings have already been achieved in the library service by making cuts in the back office, reducing waste, renegotiating contracts, removing subsidies, increasing charges and reducing the amount of money available to buy new books.

About £767,000 savings are planned for next financial year and a large chunk of that (about £620,000) will be achieved by cutting jobs.

While Droitwich Library has already been transformed to accommodate other services such as Age Concern and Jobcentre Plus plans are underway to deliver a community-led library with the parish council, police and other partners in Broadway and move Bewdley’s facility in the museum/ Guildhall complex as part of a wider regeneration scheme including the creation of a new medical centre.

In Stourport-on-Severn the library could be relocated into the Civic Centre as part another regeneration project.

It was pointed out during a meeting of cabinet yesterday that some councils across the country are being taken to court for closing their libraries and Coun Campion said despite the changes he is hopeful that the number of visitors and transactions, which currently stands about the three million mark in both categories on an annual basis, can still be achieved if not exceeded.


A library which has been called the lifeblood of a town will get to stay where it is and could even open for longer hours.

Pershore Library will be taken over by the town council after it managed to negotiate a deal with the county council that will see the facility stay in the High Street.

Serious concerns were raised about plans to move the library into the Civic Centre on the outskirts of the town as many believed user numbers would decline and local businesses would be affected by reduced footfall.

The town council will pay £200,000 to take over the library but the county council will continue to run the service in partnership with the wider community.

About £500,000 will also be invested in the building which is in need of at least £130,000 worth of repairs while a more varied staff base will enable the library to open for longer hours and at more convenient times.

The deal, which allows the county council to benefit from any uplift in value if the site is subsequently sold for other development, has been described as a win-win by county councillor John Campion, cabinet member for localism and communities.

At a meeting of cabinet yesterday county councillor Liz Tucker, who represents Pershore, said there was “real shock and anger” in the town when it looked like the library was moving but town councillor Chris Parsons said the 11 months of discussion and negotiation had been worth the effort. “It’s been a difficult time but this is a wonderful example of how a little town council like Pershore’s can work with the might of the county council to hopefully achieve success,” he said.