CONCERNS have been raised a lack of people attending information sessions on the future of libraries could lead to closures.

Last month it was announced Swindon Borough Council would be slashing the library budget by nearly 60 per cent as it needs to make £50 million in savings by 2020.

The proposal is all libraries, with the exception of the central one, will be run by volunteers so a series of sessions is being run to inform people.

However, some of those sessions have been attended by very few people and Councillor Derique Montaut (Lab, Liden, Eldene and Park South) fears this will lead to services closing without people realising.

“At one session I heard there were only six people and when asked if they would get involved no-one came forward,” he said.

“This plans have been pushed through so are going to happen. I don’t know if people think there will be some last minute change but that isn’t going to happen.

“If we are not careful, people will sleep-walk into losing vital facilities. The council will say they have carried out the consultation and push ahead with the move. I do not like it but it will happen.”

The veteran councillor is urging people to attend the next meeting, in Parks on Monday, to show how important the library is important.

Coun Montaut said: “In place like Wroughton and Highworth people have come out in force at the meetings but in places where libraries are arguably needed the most there haven’t been the numbers.

“If people do not come out then closure is a real option. Libraries do so much for communities and I have a real fear the places like the Park Library will be the first to go.

“We need people to come out in support.”

Council chiefs say no decision has been made on any library and a report outlining the strategy will be produced in the summer.

Coun Garry Perkins (Con, Haydon Wick), the cabinet member responsible for libraries, says he does not believe the move will lead to any closures and also urged people to attend.

Last week he said: “I would like to thank all those that attended our engagement sessions this week as they provided some really useful feedback.

“There are plenty more opportunities for people to feed in their views and ask questions and I would encourage anyone who wants to find out more about the proposals to attend one of the many upcoming events.”

The next engagement will be held at St Andrews Church Hall between 9.30am and 1.30pm on Monday. A full list of the remaining events can be found by visiting