Campaigners say four Nottingham libraries could be closed by council under plans

The lobby at Nottingham Central Library
The lobby at Nottingham Central Library
By Joe Locker, Local Democracy Reporter

Campaigners say four Nottingham libraries could be closed under cost-cutting proposals after the City Council declared effective bankruptcy last year.

The Labour-run authority approved sweeping cuts to services, including a review of its libraries, in March.

Millions of pounds had to be saved across services so it could set a balanced budget and four-year financial plan.

Its improvement process is now being overseen by commissioners.

Des Conway, who helped campaign to save the Basford, Aspley, and Radford-Lenton libraries in 2022, told the Local Democracy Reporting Service in February the council held a meeting with UNISON.

This meeting revealed all but three libraries could face closure.

The libraries that would have been kept under these plans would have been the new Sherwood and Central libraries and the historic Aspley Library.

Historic Aspley Library 

However, Mr Conway says the “nuclear option” has now seemingly been avoided.

“If the rumour mill is to be believed, then the nuclear option of closing all but three of the city’s libraries fortunately will not now happen,” he said.

“This is a huge relief for instance to the families in The Meadows, who came out in force on Thursday, March 21 to defend their marvellous Carnegie Library, so the Friends of Meadows Library (FOML), and the Meadows Action Group (MAG) can breathe a huge sigh of relief.”

Campaigners and unions have been told there will be three consultation meetings, but some have been subject to delays.

Mr Conway says it is understood the four libraries which could be earmarked for closure are Aspley, Basford, Bilborough and Radford.

“Unlike in 2022, there are no consultation meetings in any of the four libraries earmarked for closure,” he added.

“The council is looking to get voluntary-sector organisations along to express interest in running services.”

The new Central Library opened at the end of 2023 and the refurbished Sherwood Library is on track to open in the summer.

Its opening had been hampered by snagging issues and the collapse of a construction firm which had been renovating the building in Spondon Street.

Asked about library closures on Monday, March 20, the council’s deputy leader Cllr Ethan Radford said: “We cannot rule anything out.

“We are not in that kind of position. We would very much like to not cut certain areas but we are not in that position to be able to do that.

“We will have to look at every service the council provides, every building, every scrap of land the council owns, because at the end of the day we have to get to a point where residents’ needs are being delivered and we are meeting those needs.

“If we have to take difficult decisions in order to be able to do that, that is what is in the best interests of residents.”

Nottingham City Council is yet to confirm its plans and has been contacted for further comment.

(Visited 1 times, 1 visits today)