PROPOSALS for Bromley to share library services with Bexley will lead to a “jobs massacre”, according to workers.

Bromley currently employs 36 people in back office and management posts whereas Bexley has 35.

Yet under plans to merge from April next year, only 36 jobs will be available.

These could save up to £350,000 and according to Bromley Council, “make improvements while protecting frontline services”.

Bromley Council’s staff side secretary Glenn Kelly, who warned of possible strike action, said “The cuts include deleting all the service managers, all the professional librarians, all the archivist staff, all the IT staff, all the site staff and all the stock and support staff services staff.

“A library merger with Bexley will lead to a jobs massacre.

“At best half of our staff face the sack, while the rest will be run ragged trying to cover two of the biggest geographical boroughs in London.”

As well as merging services, the closure of eight of the borough’s 15 libraries at Anerley, Penge, Burnt Ash, Hayes, Mottingham, Shortlands, Southborough and St Paul's Cray is also being considered.

Bromley Council’s Labour group leader Councillor John Getgood said: “Any weakening of the library service is likely to have a detrimental effect on users.

“If the numbers of users drop, or the service is less comprehensive, that will put libraries themselves at risk.

“As it is, Anerley is threatened with closure and that is unacceptable.

“Libraries are a valued and important service to a wide range of people. They need to be run by professionals who understand local needs. The Tories are supposed to be supporting localism.

“They should keep our libraries local.”

Bromley’s porfolio holder for renewal and recreation Councillor Peter Morgan said: “Residents will appreciate that the council faces severe financial pressures.

“This proposal offers Bromley the opportunity to save considerable sums of money spent on the back office and the real hope that the library service can continue in all locations.

“We are totally committed to our excellent library service as is demonstrated by our recent successful openings in Biggin Hill and Orpington.”