The council has been blasted for proposing to close a village library in order to save ‘just £10,000’ from its budget.

Prestbury Library has been earmarked for closure by Cheshire East Council as part of its pre-budget report to save £70m over the next three years.

But John Martin, chairman of Prestbury Parish Council, says the £10,000 a year saving does not justify the closure of an important community asset.

He said: “We are a small village of about 3,000 and the library provides a valuable and viable service.

“We know that is it used a lot by our residents and the staff who work there are specially trained and who are there to help people get the most out of the internet and the services they provide. There is only one bus every hour to take people to the larger library in Macclesfield and this can be quite an arduous journey for our elderly residents, which we think more than makes up for the £10,000 in savings.”

A pre-budget report for 2018 to 2021 said the closure of three village libraries - Prestbury, Disley and Alderley Edge - would amount to a total saving of £450,000 over the next three years.

The closure of Prestbury Library will save just £10,000 a year.

Alderley Edge and Disley will save the council’s purse £72,000 and £68,000 a year respectively.

Coun Martin, says that the library is a touchstone for the community and every effort should be made to ensure its future.

He said: “There used to be a provision for planning applications to be held on hard copy in the libraries, so that residents could come in and have a say on issues that could directly affect them.

“However, with an older population, who don’t have access to computers - except for those at the library - this means that they will no longer be able to have their say.”

The pre-budget report announced last week - which includes the proposal to increase council tax by 4.99 per cent - is a draft budget of how money can be saved over the next three years.

Bosses state the authority needs to save money as it faces reductions in government grants and rising demand for adult social care and children in care.

A spokesman for Cheshire East Council said they welcome ideas to see the libraries taken over by the community as an alternative to closing.

The deadline for comments on the budget is January 12.

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