Warning list – Library services at risk in Birmingham

We are keeping a record of the proposed cuts to Library services in Birmingham as the budget cuts for 2014-15 are considered and agreed. The District Committee’s are responsible for community library services in their area and are currently meeting to set their District budgets.

This information is provisional and will be updated and fully sourced once decisions are confirmed.


The district will use Community Chest money to protect and retain all the library services in the district.


Erdington District Committee is proposing to cut it’s library budget by £70k for 2014-15 and 2015-16.

‘Explore the potential to deliver saving by transferring the management of CV (Castle Vale) library to a community org who, with support from BCC manager, BCC’s self service terminals, plus a small subsidy may deliver at reduced cost. Reduced space in building CV library occupies also an option to reduce costs.

Across District reduce the book fund by £10K to contribute to savings.’

(source: BCC Erdington cuts schedule)


Spring Hill Library (Ladywood ward) identified for closure at the Ladywood Ward Committee held on 20th January 2014.

The status of Bloomsbury Library closed in the autumn 2013 following the theft of lead from the roof of the library is indeterminate.

Aston library is at risk of closure when the lease comes to an end.

The proposed District budget for 2014-15 includes a cut £54k or 2.87 FTE posts.

The cut proposed to Community libraries for 2015-16 rises dramatically to £243k.

Hall Green

It is proposed to retain Community Libraries at current opening hours. The District budget agreed on 21st January 2014 did not make any cuts to the library service in Hall Green.

Hodge Hill

There is a proposed reduction of £40,000 in the first year which is the equivalent of a reduction in 2.87 fte posts with a further reduction of £40,000 in the second year totally 5.73 FTE over 2 years.


Northfield District Committee is proposing to cut it’s library budget by £170k for 2014-15 and £170k for 2014-15.

There are proposed staffing reductions of 8 fte over 2 years

There is a proposal to develop community hubs and neighbourhood centres offering a mix of integrated services in partnership with the third sector, educational or other bodies eg volunteers.

The district would also explore a trust option.

There is a proposal to close West Heath Library.

‘Community libraries-Staff reductions, consider options for reduction in premises costs; Mitigation-Develop Community Hubs and Neighbourhood centres offering a mix of integrated Services in partnership with the third sector, educational and other bodies (e.g. parish council, volunteers), assessment of Trust options. Generation of new income-Friends groups are being established at community libraries.’

BCC Northfield District Savings Proposals

Perry Barr

Reduction of opening hours of Handsworth and Kingstanding Libraries

Cut of £35k for 2014-15 and 2015-16 identified from the employee budget.

Discussion on District cuts and savings at the Perry Barr District Committee held on 30th January 2014. There is no specific discussion about the cuts to library services in Perry Barr: http://bit.ly/1fpv6IS

Selly Oak

Community Libraries – £145,000

Community Libraries – review building options, reduce opening hours, reduction in staffing costs and explore new ways of working such as self service.

(source: BCC SELLY OAK DISTRICT – Budget Savings Proposals 2014/15 and 2015/16)

There is a 45% cut in the bookfund. There will be a review of building options as well as the reduction in staffing with investment in self service.

Discussion on District cuts and savings at the Selly Oak District Committee held on 30th January 2014.

Sutton Coldfield

There is a proposal to close Wylde Green Library. Staff will be moved to vacancies within the district. There will be a reduction in 0.85 fte posts.

The bookfund will be reduced by 25%.

The district also proposals to explore possible Trust options either at district wide or city wide.

Discussion at Sutton Coldfield District Committee on 27th January 2014: http://bit.ly/1f6OSbU


There is a proposal to reduce staffing levels in libraries by deleting vacancies with a reduction is staffing of 1.43 FTE.

Library of Birmingham

‘Library of Birmingham (including Mobile and Housebound Service)
The saving of £1.65m in 2014-15 will be met in part from:-

Reducing the Mobile Library Service by one third of current stops (£40,000)

Reducing the Library Service at Home by one fifth of visits (£60,000) affecting 400 people.

Further reducing expenditure on the Book Fund (£50,000)

Ceasing to provide events and exhibitions where these involve a net cost to the Council (£150,000)

The Library of Birmingham Development Trust was set up to provide funds to support the LoB.

Achieving the £1.35m balance of savings may require a combination of the Trust making a contribution to support the LoB, and further changes to the Library’s operating arrangements. It will be necessary to keep progress under review and consider contingency.’ (source BCC Budget White Paper)

Cuts for each District 2014-15

Edgbaston ?
Erdington £70k
Ladywood £54k
Hall Green nil
Hodge Hill £40K
Northfield £170
Perry Barr £35k
Selly Oak £145k
Sutton Coldfield ?
LoB £1.65m

Total so far: £2,164,000

Community Libraries at risk of permanent closure

West Heath
Wylde Green

Cuts to the Book fund

Erdington £10K
Selly Oak 45% cut to the Book fund
Sutton Coldfield 25% cut to the Book fund
LoB £50k

Identified cuts to posts

Edgbaston ?
Ladywood 2.87 fte
Hall Green 0
Hodge Hill 2.87 fte
Northfield 8 fte (over 2 years)
Perry Barr £35k cut from employee budget
Selly Oak Staffing to be reviewed and cut
Sutton Coldfield 0.85 fte
Yardley 1.43 fte

Total loss of posts 11.92 fte

Can you help?

There are a lot of local libraries in Birmingham and the de-centralised decisions make it difficult to follow all the local cuts.

We need an effective network of library supporters across the city. In the coming weeks and months we need people to regularly monitor the agenda’s and to attend the Ward and District Committee meetings and budgets and to report back on any proposed cuts to local libraries. Can you help?

The agenda’s for forthcoming meetings can be found on the Democracy in Birmingham sub-site of the Birmingham City Council website.

Please get in touch with the campaign and forward any local information regarding Library services at risk in your community:


3 thoughts on “Warning list – Library services at risk in Birmingham

  1. Pingback: Warning list – Library services at risk in Birmingham | Birmingham Libraries Campaigns | 4hglibrary

  2. Pingback: Cuts to Birmingham’s Public Library service at a glance | Birmingham Libraries Campaigns

  3. Bookfund savings .
    My understanding is that the purchase of stock is funded from the Leisure pot not Constituency level. An allocation is delegated to the District level for their service points. This is because library stock is purchased for the WHOLE CITY AND ITS CITIZENS and is accessible to all through reservation and lending. If a district decides to reduce its bookfund locally it ompacts on other dustricts by increasing the use of other libraries holding thereby depriving another community of resources by ‘leeching’ others resources.

    Something that needs to be clarified by Councillor Ward.
    Bookfund is Citywide resource and administered by each district for the City service not their own resource.

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