Nov 9 2010 By Jessica Thompson
LIBRARY staff in the Hounslow Borough have been made redundant and an ICT skills centre has been closed.
The moves have been made by John Laing Integrated Services, who are running the facilities for Hounslow Council.
A total of 12 staff have lost their jobs and the Skills Suite at Feltham Library will shut its doors on November 20.
The suite provides low cost ICT training and computer access to local organisations, schools and individuals, assisting some people to secure a professional qualification or help them return to work.
A spokesman for John Laing, said: "Owning to a decline in user numbers and the cessation of grant funding, the Skills Suite at Feltham Library will close.
"Over the last two years, the number of students using the Skills Suite has been in decline and continuing to keep the Skills Suite running under capacity is not an economic use of staff time and resources. Furthermore with the closing of the Learning and Skills Council it has been difficult to secure additional funding in the short term".
John Laing has confirmed that it is in talks with other organisations in an attempt to identify options for the future of the facility.
The spokesman said: "We have carefully considered the impact of closing the Skills Suite and are of the belief that the closure will not impact on learning opportunities available across the Hounslow Library Network".
In addition to this, some library staff across the borough have lost their jobs after a review of staffing structure was undertaken.
12 staff were made redundant, five of which were voluntary.
The spokesman said: "Local authorities and their service providers across the UK, have to respond to the budget cuts announced as part of the Government's Spending Review to reduce costs and deliver efficiencies.
"John Laing Integrated Services provide the library service on behalf of the London Borough of Hounslow and have an obligation to deliver ongoing efficiencies in line with the councils priorities. These actions have not delivered any savings for John Laing Integrated Services, they form part of an overall drive to deliver efficiencies within the library service".