City library service saved from £1.6m cuts

Mayor Joe Anderson

Plans to make £1.6m of cuts to Liverpool’s library service have been reversed by city Mayor Joe Anderson.

This follows Chancellor Philip Hammond’s budget announcement of more funding for adult social care which means council reserves will now be redirected to protect all of Liverpool’s libraries for the next three years.

Liverpool is to receive £27m for Adult Social Care as part of a £2bn programme announced in Wednesday’s budget – the same day as Liverpool City Council agreed its own, which included cuts to its library service in 2018-19.

As a result of the Government top up (Liverpool is to receive £14.39m in ‘17-18, £8.48m in ‘18-19 and £4.18m in ‘19-20) the Mayor has instructed officers to reallocate monies to the library service.                                                                                                                                               
Anderson said: “I welcome this money for adult social care as we have been lobbying the government for the past four years to face up to this crisis.
“Liverpool has had to reduce spending on an unprecedented scale – £330m since 2010 and another £90m over the next three years. The Chancellor has given us a small bit of breathing space which means we can review some of the cuts we were proposing – and top of that list is our library service.

“Libraries make up the fabric of our society and play a unique role in our communities and are a fundamental building block of lifelong education. The fact that we had to look at cutting its services was genuinely heart-breaking and shows the scale of the problem which councils like Liverpool are having to address.

“I would stress this adult social care funding is a one-off settlement so questions still remain about what happens beyond 2020. I’ll be straining every sinew to maintain the pressure on government to make them understand that this sticking plaster approach is now way to treat our elderly and those who work to care for them.”