A PLEDGE has been made not to close any libraries in East Renfrewshire in the latest round of budget cuts.

East Renfrewshire Culture and Leisure (ERCL) - the organisation that runs sports, leisure and cultural services in the area - faced having to find £391,000 of savings to its library service.

Now the organisation’s chief executive, Anthony McReavy has said that all libraries will be protected from closure in the coming financial year, although some of the smaller facilities will see a reduction in opening hours.

The opening hours of the main Barrhead Foundry and Giffnock Libraries will remain the same, as will the opening times for Uplawmoor and Netherlee Libraries.

Changes to opening hours that come into effect on Monday, April 4 means that libraries at Busby, Eaglesham, Neilston and Thornliebank won’t open on a Monday where previously they opened from 1pm to 5pm and 6pm to 8pm. And on a Saturday these libraries, along with Clarkston and Mearns, will close at 1pm instead of 5pm.

Anthony said: “All over Scotland, local authorities and organisations like ourselves running libraries face a massive reduction to funding and many of the country’s libraries are under threat.

“The management team at East Renfrewshire Culture and Leisure were determined to find a way of making the necessary savings, but not to close any libraries in the current round of cutbacks.

“However although we still had to find savings and the opening hours that we are having to reduce in some of our libraries are at times when the libraries are least used and have the least impact on our customers.

“None of our communities are losing their local library.”

Anthony added: “We are committed to providing the people of East Renfrewshire with the best sporting, cultural and leisure facilities as we can, despite the current economic climate putting us under immense financial pressure.

“And even with the changes to some libraries opening hours, there will be no compulsory redundancies among our staff.”

Log on to www.ercultureandleisure.org for more information on the new library opening hours.