CUTS to library provision in Powys have not been ruled out of next year's budget.

At a meeting of the Economy, Residents, Communities and Governance Scrutiny Committee on Monday, January  13, portfolio holder for Young People and Culture, Cllr Rachel Powell (Independent – Beguildy)  blamed “austerity” and “politics,” for the issues.

Over the last year the Powys County Council (PCC) service has been trying to move to a model that sees volunteers and communities become more involved in running libraries.

Last year a proposal to cut £200,000 from the services in the 2019/20 budget was postponed for a year so that ideas and views from residents about future options could be collected.

Cllr Powell, said: “Every library is unique and we are reliant on the strength of the communities really to work with us to keep them maintained.

“I can’t give assurance that they will all stay open, all I can do is say I will do my best to work with communities, because it is something that is valued.

Cllr Gareth Jones (Independent – Llanfair Caereinion), said : “Communities are willing to work.

“In my own town I know over the last 12 months the use of the library has significantly come down, purely because it is no longer open for as long due to not being able to afford full time staff.

“The communities are willing to commit.

“But they need a clear commitment from PCC that there will be a period of time where we know the situation will not be revisited in 12 months time.”

Cllr Powell answered: “We have to be realistic about our budgets and austerity is not going away unfortunately.

“We were very fortunate to get some breathing room, I can’t give assurances on budgets as discussions and priorities for council change.

“We are going to have to look at completely volunteer led organisations, but you still need the specialism and support mechanisms of librarians around it.

“The reassurance will be we can have those mechanisms there to ensure the service can continue, budget wise I can’t commit because that’s politics unfortunately.”

Cllr Jones, responded: “We have communities on side, but if we revisit this again in 12 to 18months time they possibly won’t be.”

Cllr Powell added that she would be going out to visit Powys libraries again to “touch base.”

The Welsh Government has published an annual report on the library services of all 22 Welsh local authorities for 2018/19.

The report stated that of the 10 quality indicators that have targets PCC achieved seven in full, one in part and did not achieve two.

This was an improvement on the previous year where five quality indicators were achieved in full, one in part and four were not achieved.

The report also revealed that 94 per cent of adults rated the library as good or very good overall.

There are libraries at:


Builth Wells


Hay on Wye


Llandrindod Wells

Llanfair Caereinion