NEWSPAPERS will no longer be available in hard copy at libraries across Bournemouth, Christchurch and Poole. 

BCP Council has made the decision to cut all physical copies in its 24 libraries across the conurbation, saving the authority around £15,000 a year. 

Instead, around 1,000 newspapers will still be available digitally with the usual national papers and the Bournemouth Echo. 

Cllr Andy Martin, portfolio holder for communications and culture, said: “Councils across the country are facing an unprecedented challenge. 

Bournemouth Echo:

“Soaring inflation has driven up costs and many councils are facing an increase in demand for core services, such as social care, education and highways. 

“The council’s budget pressures have led to a need to reduce the library services operational costs, and the decision to remove physical copies of newspapers from BCP libraries will save £15,000 per year. 

“Newspapers will remain available subscription free online for all library members and can be accessed both within the libraries and on personal devices.” 

Meanwhile, library opening times and days are set to be slashed across the board in a further bid to reduce costs. 

Hours are set to be cut by an average of 10 hours a week, at each library, from April, which could save the authority £440,200.

Bournemouth Echo: Bournemouth libraryBournemouth library

A further £60,000 will be saved from the operational budgets to bring £500,000 of total savings from libraries as part of the balanced budget for the next four years. 

BCP Council will be carrying out a public consultation soon lasting for six weeks to “understand the needs of the community going forwards”. 

It’s hoped the results will give an insight into how people use libraries in light of “changes in social trends, new technology and the evolving needs of their communities”. 

A report said: “Our library strategy will establish what the service should look like in the future and how we will deliver our ambitions for the service.  

“The strategy will guide planning, investment, and priorities.” 

Eventually, a report with all the findings and a way forward is expected to be put to cabinet in October 2024.