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Essex County Council slash spending on libraries

News / Wed 19th Dec 2018 at 06:48pm

ESSEX County Council is spending £10 million less on libraries than it did seven years ago, when the Conservatives came into power.

Analysis of the latest council spending figures show that Essex County Council spent £25.5 million on the running of its libraries in 2010/11.

That was the year that the Conservative and Liberal Democrat coalition
government came to power.

Adjusted for inflation, Essex County Council should have spent £30 million in the year to March 2018 on its libraries to reach at least the same amount.

Instead, the council spent £20.7 million.

Some £8.1 million of the £20.7 million that Essex County Council spent on libraries went on staff, while the remaining £12.6 million was spent on
running expenses.

Essex County Council says it will only allow for inflation of staff costs and specific contracts when applying annual increases to budgets.

The expectation is that all other inflation is contained within existing resources and is used to generate annual efficiencies as opposed to being a budget cut.

In 2017/18, £8.1m was spent on library staff costs. In 2010, £12.5m was spent on staff costs.

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