SOME staff will lose their jobs when four libraries are moved or turned into community hubs to save money.

Bury Council’s libraries service is offering voluntary redundancy to workers as four libraries are being reduced in size.

There are 120 staff working for the library service but it is not yet known how many will be made redundant.

Voluntary redundancy is open to staff at all libraries in the borough, not just those in the affected branches in Unsworth, Radcliffe, Prestwich and Whitefield.

Speaking at last Wednesday’s meeting of Bury Council’s cabinet, Cllr Jane Lewis, cabinet member for leisure, tourism and culture, said: “We are hoping that staff reductions can be achieved through the voluntary route.

“We have already had a number of staff express an interest in that.”

The cabinet agreed plans to make drastic changes to the library service in Radcliffe, Unsworth, Prestwich and Whitefield.

The scheme would see Unsworth Library, in Sunny Bank Road, moved to Sunny Bank Community Centre and Radcliffe Library, in Stand Lane, relocated to Radcliffe Civic Suite. They would create “community hubs”, with adult care services also provided there and events in the civic hall. Prestwich Library would be remodelled to provide an open-plan facility in a smaller area, making space available for learning disability day services. It will not move into the Longfield Suite, as was first suggested A section of Whitefield Library will also be used by adult care and the existing sensory impairment unit will be moved to a different part of the building.

The plans are designed to save £570,000 fin the library services’ budget while keeping libraries open.

Cllr Lewis said: “We have worked on the basic principal of keeping as much of the service as we possibly can.”

A “substantial” one-off capital investment will be needed to make the changes to the buildings, but that cost is not yet known. More self-service facilities will be provided in the libraries and council information points will be retained, apart from that at Unsworth.

The council has now launched a consultation on the proposals. The consultation runs until May 24 and will include a series of roadshows around the borough.

The roadshows schedule is: 5.30pm to 7.30pm today at Whitefield Library; 5.30pm to 7.30pm tomorrow at Ramsbottom Library; 10am to noon on Monday at Radcliffe Library; 10am to noon on Wednesday at Prestwich Library; 10am to noon on Thursday, April 25 at Unsworth Library, and 2pm to 4pm at Tottington Library.

Questionnaires are also available in libraries and online at Alternatively, people can write to Bury Town Hall, email burylibraries or call 0161 253 7931.