Councillors have recommended that two Basingstoke libraries will close, after a consultation meeting was held by Hampshire County Council's culture and communities select committee this morning. 

The two Basingstoke libraries which have been recommended to close are South Ham and Odiham, as part of plans to save £1.76mn from the library service.

Councillor Woodward will decide in a meeting from 3pm which libraries out of the eight will close.

These include Blackfield, Lyndhurst, Fair Oak, Elson, Horndean, Lee-on-the-Solent, Odiham and South Ham. 

The remaining libraries will have their opening hours reduced by 20 per cent.

The public consolation has ordered options of either reducing opening hours of all libraries by 25 per cent or closing 10 libraries and reducing opening hours for all libraries over individual branch closures.

Sean Woodward, executive member for recreation and heritage, said the authority faced £110mn of unplanned costs and losses" due to coronavirus.

"These are difficult choices to have to make, and we continue to work hard to minimise the impact on residents.

"And although this means we must reduce costs, it does not stop us from innovating and seizing new opportunities," Cllr Woodward said.

The authority said the plan put 50 jobs at risk but it hoped to avoid compulsory redundancies.

It is due to be formally approved on 28 July and put into effect by December.