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Library hours cut in money saving shake up
LIBRARY hours and staff are to be cut across the borough as the town hall looks to save £430,000 from the service.
A total of 57 hours are to be shaved off opening times across 14 libraries, reducing opening times by nine per cent.
Not all the cuts are shared out equally. Northolt loses 10 hours a week, Southall more than seven and Hanwell and Perivale more than six.
But Wood End Library in Greenford, Northolt Leisure Centre Library and Ealing Hospital Library will see no changes.
Hours will be cut from mornings and evenings, starting next month.
But extra hours will be added every subsequent year between April and June, to accommodate the time when many students will be studying for exams.
The changes will result in the loss of 20 full-time staff - one sixth of the library workforce - who will lose their jobs from next month, leaving 98 people left working in the service.
Carolyn Brown, chairwoman of Hanwell Community Forum and member of the forum's Library Action group, which helped save their library from closure last year, said: "It'll mean there'll be no evening service during the week in Hanwell, so anyone who works outside of Ealing will have to commit their Saturdays to take their books back. I think that's unacceptable.
"We all understand there are cuts but you either support libraries or you don't."
The council scrapped plans to shut Northfields, Hanwell, Perivale and Northolt Leisure Centre libraries last June after campaigns by residents. But it did axe the mobile library.
It says the changes are being brought in because savings still need to be found to help tackle £85 million of government funding cuts.
And the new opening times were chosen following a review which showed when the libraries were least busy.
Council leader Julian Bell said £10 million has been spent on libraries in the past 10 years and Hanwell and Perivale are to receive a total of £2.2 million of investment.
He said: "In the teeth of Tory cuts this unfortunately has to be done but we've tried to do it in a way which limits the impact."
Visit www.ealing.gov.uk/libraries to see how your library is affected.
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