FILTON and Bradley Stoke MP Jack Lopresti has announced his support for campaigns launched across South Gloucestershire to save local libraries.

Mr Lopresti said he was ‘disappointed’ at the plans unveiled by his own Conservative party to cut library services and said money should be saved elsewhere to protect frontline services.

His statement comes two days after the Tory-run council agreed to spend a £3.6million government handout on cutting the district’s opt-in green bin charge from £36 to £30 over safeguarding services including libraries, youth services and council-funded PCSO posts.

The decision, furiously challenged by South Gloucestershire’s Labour and Liberal Democrat parties, has sparked outrage on social media with many people saying they would happily pay the annual £36 subscription charge to have their green bin emptied if it meant other services were saved.

Mr Lopresti said: “I am very disappointed that South Gloucestershire Council is planning a drastic and highly damaging cut to our library services.

“Local taxpayers are paying more for the chief executive, who earns £155,724 a year, than they do for the Prime Minister and that three other officials at South Gloucestershire Council also earn well over £100,000 a year.

“This is not the best use of taxpayers’ money. I urge the council to ensure that back office efficiencies are made in preference to reducing front line services.”

At a meeting of the council on Wednesday (February 17) a consultation on the future of libraries, with all options including the closure of Chipping Sodbury Library and various options to reduce opening hours at its remaining 12 libraries, was given the go ahead.

He added: “‘Fortunately, the council has to consult on what changes are made to library services.

“This is the perfect opportunity for residents to have their say on any changes that are made. Libraries have become important community hubs in recent years, with the range of services provided expanding well beyond the hire of books.

“They help promote literacy and prevent social isolation for many people. Every effort must be made to prevent the services they provide being damaged.’

“I am very pleased that library users groups are gearing up to oppose any reduction to hours, and I would encourage everyone to contribute to the consultation.

"I will be meeting some of these groups very soon, and anyone who wants me to pass their views on to the council is welcome to get in touch with me on 01454 617783 or via”