Sunderland library closures move step closer

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CONTROVERSIAL plans to axe nine Wearside libraries have moved a step closer to reality.

As revealed in the Echo, opposition is mounting to Sunderland City Council’s proposals to axe services at Doxford Park, Easington Lane, East Herrington, Fence Houses, Hendon, Monkwearmouth, Silksworth, Southwick and Washington Green.

The move would save the authority £850,000.

At a meeting at the Civic Centre yesterday, the council’s ruling cabinet agreed to put the plans out to the next consultation stage.

A report into library use stated the number of books borrowed has fallen by 28 per cent since 2007/8.

The new service would revolve around five library hubs across the city, which would be open for more than 40 hours a week, and mean all Wearsiders would be within two miles of a library.

In a statement, the council said: “Library provision continues to be an important service for our communities. However, the economic situation we find ourselves in means that we have no choice but to look at different ways of delivering to our residents.”

A report on the final proposal is due in September.