TWO libraries could be closed amid cuts to services as Slough Borough Council tries to find ways to curb its financial pressures.

A 12-week consultation could be launched from October 28, if cabinet members decide to give the go-ahead at next Monday’s meeting.

According to the library services consultation report, it states the current service is “not affordable”, and the Labour-run council is eyeing up cuts after it was forced to freeze all non-essential spending over years of high borrowing and accounting errors.

There are five proposed options that residents can comment on including closing both Langley and Cippenham library buildings but maintain the staffing and hours at the Curve and Britwell.

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Another option could involve keeping all the library buildings open but slashing opening hours and some of their space to allow other users to rent that area.

Other proposals include:

  • Reduce the money available to spend on buying publications (both hard copy and eResources).
  • Keep all the main library buildings open but reduce the opening and staffed hours at Langley and Cippenham and reduce the staffed hours at The Curve and Britwell libraries
  • Move all library services out of the current main library buildings and re-locate services to be delivered from a range of other locations across the borough.

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When the consultation launches, there will be an online survey, drop-in sessions at libraries, and online sessions for residents to share their views.

According to the council, more than 600,000 visits are made to Slough’s libraries by residents in a typical year, to borrow more than 500,000 books.

In the 2021/22 budget, the local authority allocated nearly £1.10m to the library services.

Heathrow bound bus passing the nearly completed The Curve building in Slough. iPhone 6 and Snapseed PHOTO: MIKE SWIFT 148244.

Heathrow bound bus passing the nearly completed The Curve building in Slough. iPhone 6 and Snapseed PHOTO: MIKE SWIFT 148244.

Slough Borough Council leader James Swindlehurst said: “With work underway to address our immediate financial issues, Cabinet is now looking at the council’s medium term financial strategy to make sure all services can operate within a tighter financial envelope, ensuring the council’s sustainability going forward.

“We’re really proud to have provided a generous library offer over the years in Slough, which has seen us invest in new buildings like The Curve, and the council Cabinet’s preferred model for future library services is to retain our library buildings – but we want to know your views and priorities as we weigh up various options against each other.

“Therefore, we really want residents to engage with this consultation and let us know what you want from our library service so we can draw on your views as we shape these services for the future.”

The consultation, which is not yet live, can be found here: