The brand new Library of Birmingham will be one of the most affected services in new council cuts announced by Labour leader, Sir Albert Bore.
Birmingham City Council needs to shed £117m from its budget over the next year as part of national local council cuts. Birmingham will be cutting 5.7% of its budget over the next year, which is almost triple the 2% average for councils. Over 6,000 cuts will be made by the council before 2018.
Consequently, services at the Library will be reduced dramatically within a single year of opening.
The £189m library will lose over half of its staff in an effort to reduce spending. This will see library opening hours cut from 73 per week to a proposed 40 hours. Penny Holbrook, from the council, has said that this would be ‘embarrassing’. Over 100 back office staff will be cut, as well as CCTV monitoring of the library.
Patrick Burns, political commentator, has said that it is the prestige of the Library that is likely to suffer the most. Bore has said that reduced funding from central government are the reason for the cut backs.
Other public services will be cut too. The 250 CCTV cameras within the city will cease to have 24 hour surveillance. Financial support to big festivals and events within Birmingham will also be cut. St. Patrick’s Day celebrations and Pride will be two such events to lose their council funding. Additionally, 20 football pitches will be decommissioned, prices of alcohol and entertainment licences will be increased and there will be reduced pest control. People will be charged for the removal of cockroaches and bedbugs in future.