As a consultation on library services in the Borough draws to a close, and the threat of library branch closures looms, James Guest of Ealing Fields Residents Association breaks down the costs of Ealing Libraries, and find that the Council needs to take a closer look at libraries’ considerable overheads if they want to make any cuts.
- Ealing spends £6.7million on libraries annually – £65 million of budget savings are said to be needed
- Overheads make up a high proportion of library costs – over £3 million annually
- The branch libraries targeted for closure are already closed more days a week than other libraries – hence their lower visitor numbers
- Only 42 per cent of current expenditure on libraries goes to staff costs – running libraries on a volunteer basis will not save a great deal of money