Bromley Council is inviting community bids to manage some of the borough’s libraries amidst a reduction in budget.

Residents were asked their views about handing over management of some libraries to external providers in a public consultation which ran until February this year.

Following a review of the entire library service it was announced in March that plans for community management would be implemented alongside market proposals.

Under the plans, local volunteer or community groups would manage the community libraries of Burnt Ash, Hayes, Mottingham, Shortlands, Southborough and St Paul’s Cray.

Bromley’s remaining libraries and the core library service would be subject to full ‘market testing’, which could see management outsourced.

The council’s library budget is being slashed by £300,000 in 2014/15, as they try to find £50 million in savings over the next four years out of a budget of roughly £200 million.

Financial pressure also saw Bromley’s mobile library service axed in September last year.

Councillor Peter Morgan, executive councillor for renewal and Recreation, said: “As library use and management continues to evolve, this latest initiative could present an enticing and interesting opportunity for someone.

“Whilst change is challenging, this opportunity gives a blank canvas for us all to consider different ideas going forwards.”

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