A CONSULTATION on the future of library provision in Swindon will officially begin next week as council chiefs look to save 60 per cent from the budget.

Around £1.5m needs to be cut by 2020, so council chiefs are proposing that 14 of the borough’s 15 libraries be run by volunteers.

Although chiefs are confident they will find people to run the service, there are fears this could lead to some closures.

Former candidate for the Green Party and Wroughton resident Talis Kimberley-Fairbourne said: “I want to know if the councillors know how much people rely on the computers in libraries for things like job applications.”

Coun Garry Perkins (Con, Haydon Wick) said: “What we are doing is looking for a way to secure the libraries. We are starting a conversation with people to see what they want from the service.

“The financial reality is that we can’t continue to fund all our services as we do now because we know that in just a few years around 90 per cent of our budget will be spent on vulnerable people.

“The way people are using libraries has also changed over the years and library facilities are being used for a wide variety of community activities. Volunteers are also playing an important role in many libraries.

“We haven’t decided we are closing any libraries, but we will have less money to run the service and that is why we are asking people what that library provision could look like.”