Wick library to remain open

CAMPAIGNERS fighting to save Wick library and associated departments, under threat from Highland Council cuts, have been given some good news....the services won’t close.
The authority had now stated that museums and libraries have been removed from the hit list, although some of the facilities may face a reduction in opening hours. Museums will have their budgets slashed by 15 per cent.
Councillor Bill Fernie, who chairs the council’s education culture and sport committee, said that they had managed to keep libraries and museums open, despite having to contend with a 2.5 percent cut in grant from the Scottish Government.
Pressed if some of the facilities would have to introduce entrance fees to cover their budget shortfall, Mr Fernie said it was a possibility.
He added: “It would be up to the individual facilities whether they need to introduce charges.” Also under consideration, is the possible creation of “an arm’s-length” organisation to assume responsibility for the running of leisure and culture facilities. There is no mention of the Wick swimming pool which, the council has previously indicated, it wants to close in favour of a pool being incorporated in the new Wick High School.
The council will unveil its full budget proposals at a meeting next month, when it will have to consider taking a further £17 million out of its overall budget. The authority already agreed a package of cuts worth £17.8 million, in December, including more than 300 jobs.