Proposed library cuts to have devastating impact, says library campaigners

Public libraries in Cardiff are losing nearly half a million pounds in this year’s council budget.

Cardiff Council has launched a budget consultation which warned services could be cut and there would be increase in charges. Residence of Cardiff are being urged to take part in this as the council looks to find £30.5m to balance the books in 2024/25 amidst a public sector funding crisis.

Library campaigners have slammed this decision. They say that drastic cuts may result in closure of several public libraries.

The Welsh Government has recently announced a 4.1% grant uplift for Cardiff that will bring in an additional £25.5m, leaving a budget gap of £30.5m. This gap will now need to be filled by cuts to services, efficiency savings, and increases in charges like council tax.

Several factors including inflation, demand pressures, and expected pay increases for public sector workers, mean the council’s budget for delivering day-to-day services like education, social care, refuse collection, parks and libraries is set to cost £56m more next year than it will this year.

Adam Johannes is a member of Cardiff People’s Assembly. He says the organization is particularly concerned about is the proposal to close libraries on Saturdays.

“Its really an attack on the children and families as its such a popular day”, adds Adam.

Cardiff Council will vote on the budget next month.