Bracknell’s home library service could be scrapped as part of cost-saving measures planned for next year.

The service delivers books and other library loan items to housebound residents free of charge. But Bracknell Forest Council finance chiefs have suggested ending the service as part of plans to reduce management staff and merge libraries and customer service centres.

The council's executive director for resources Kevin Gibbs said no libraries would close – but the reduction in staff meant the home library service would have to end.

He said: “The proposal isn’t to close any library sites but to look to the management of the library service to focus it in terms of providing services to the community and providing it as part of our customer service offer.

“Some of the managers in the service do provide some of the frontline services. So as we reduce the number of hours we will need to see where we can make compensating savings.

“Withdrawing the home library service will be part of the proposals to ensure that we have the maximum number of staffed hours.”

Mr Gibbs added that people might still be able to access e-books using browsers and reading devices that they can borrow. He also appeared to suggest the council would look for ways to provide “community support” to library users.

He said: “We’re able to do e-books, so we can deliver books directly to people to browsers and to reading devices that people will be able to borrow.

“We’ll also be encouraging people to be part of communities which will be able to support them. We’re very much looking for community support in terms of refocussing the limited resources we have, but with the wide remit of making sure that people have a space that they can come to and be part of a community.”

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The proposal was presented to Bracknell Forest’s executive committee – the leading group of councillors – as part of a first draft of next year’s budget. Council chiefs say they need to find some £5.5 million in savings next year.

They say merging libraries and customer services – reducing management and ending the home library service – could save £206,000 over two years.

Councillor Kathryn Neil – responsible for spending – said the council had to make ‘tough choices’ as rising costs are putting pressure on authorities around the country.

She said: “Nationally one in five councils are expected to declare bankruptcy in the next 12 months, and just to be clear Bracknell Forest is not one of them. But we do have tough choices to make.”

The council has launched a consultation allowing residents to share their views on the budget proposals before a final decision in February next year.