BEXLEY COUNCIL has named five of the borough’s libraries whose futures are under threat as it battles to cut its budget.

The borough currently has 12 libraries and three mobile vehicles, which the council has concluded is too many in the current financial climate.

It plans to shed three branch libraries and get rid of one of the mobile units in a bid to shave £975,000 off the annual £5.5m libraries bill.

It is hoping community groups or local people will step forward to manage three of the libraries and run them in other locations, such as a church hall or community centre near the current library building.

The five libraries under threat are Bexley Village, Bostall, Northumberland Heath, Slade Green and Upper Belvedere.

Bexley says no decision has yet been made about which of the five named libraries will close and is open to offers from groups who are willing to take over the running of any other libraries in the borough not on the list.

Other plans being explored to save cash are sharing costs such as staffing, IT and buying items with other boroughs, and hiring out space in libraries to commercial organisations and community groups.

The proposals also include restricting late-night opening to just one library every weekday evening except Friday and closing at 7pm instead of 8pm.

No decision has yet been made about which libraries will continue to stay open in the evening.

The mobile library service will be reduced to just one for adult readers , instead of the current two vehicles, and one for children.

Bexley is also proposing to charge schools,residential homes and others who use the service.

It is looking at the possiblity of sharing mobile libraries with other boroughs and creating a not-for-profit trust to run the entire service.

People have until February 18 to comment, by filling in the comments form at any borough library or emailing