Cumbria County Council to cut library services in bid to meet £50m equal pay costs

Cumbria County Council  is cutting its library services in a bid to meet an estimated £50m in equal pay costs.

The council is reducing library opening hours across Cumbria by an average of 10% and will not be replacing staff who leave the library service in the next financial year.

But the council has pledged there will be no compulsory redundancies across the service as it strives to save £68,000 in the next financial year to meet equal pay claims from 3,000 female workers.

A county council spokesman said shorter opening hours meant there would have to be a consequent reduction in staffing hours. The Cumberland News  reports.

“We will be talking to unions and members of staff – although at the moment exact details of future opening hours are not clear,” he said.

“When people leave or retire from the library service, they will either not be replaced or will be replaced by someone on shorter hours.

“We will also cut our casuals budget for covering sickness absence. But anyone whose hours are cut may be able to make them up by providing that cover,” he said.


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