SWINDON Borough Council are hopeful recent unplanned closures of Liden Library due to staff shortages will come to an end after taking action to address the problem.

In recent months, the library has suddenly closed because there have not been enough staff to run the facility.

It was usually manned by only one person, meaning if they had a day off or were sick then no-one was available to take over.

This has subsequently led to much frustration from local residents but it is now hoped the problem has been resolved.

Agreements have been reached with existing staff to increase their hours while a number of other staff have been hired.

A council spokesman said: “We have recently been short-staffed through a combination of illness and staff vacancies, which has meant that we haven’t had enough back-up staff if those who are due to work are unable to do so at short notice. We have done what we can to reduce the impact, with existing staff agreeing to do more hours and managers covering front-line duties.

“We have recently recruited new staff who will begin work shortly, and this should ease some of the pressure and reduce the number of unplanned closures.”

The news has been welcomed by local ward councillors who say they have been regularly contacted by annoyed residents.

Councillor Fay Howard (Lab, Liden, Eldene and Park South) said she welcomed the news and hoped this would mean people could rely on a more regular service.

She said: “This has been a concern of local residents. Having pressed the council over the unplanned library closures, I’m pleased that the council is taking steps to prevent them in the future.

“The library had encountered problems recently due to a number of vacancies in the library services and long-term illnesses amongst staff. When I pressed the council over these unannounced closures the council told me that they spread the number of unplanned closures equally across all of Swindon’s libraries.

“I’ve been advised that the council has taken steps to reduce any more unannounced closures by recruiting new staff. The new staff will begin work in the next few weeks and will improve the process for relief staff cover. Liden residents value our local library service, seeing this resolved will be very welcome.”

Liden Library is open on Barrington Close and is scheduled to be open from 9am until 7pm.