SIX libraries in Southampton are set to close after cash-strapped civic chiefs recommended shutting them.

The city council’s cabinet will vote next week on whether to shut Cobbett Road, Burgess Road, Weston, Thornhill and Millbrook libraries unless community groups take them on.

The mobile library service will also close as the council looks to meet a £90m black hole in the city’s finances by April 2019.

The proposals were put forward last year as part of a review into their future which saw consultation take place across the city.

Campaigners, backed by high profile figures such as television naturalist Chris Packham, pleaded with city council leaders not to close the libraries and two petitions to save Cobbett Road and Burgess Road attracted more than 2,000 signatures.

But today the recommendation being made to the council’s cabinet next week has been published, and it could see all six library facilities closing from next year unless community groups come forward.

Stopping running the libraries will save the council £283,000 in 2015/16 and cost six jobs.

Councillor Satvir Kaur, Cabinet Member for Communities, Culture and Leisure said: “I would like to thank the thousands of residents who shared their thoughts on the future of Southampton’s library service in the recent consultation.

"Nationally, library services have changed over recent years and we will decide where the future of ours lies next week.

"The consultation showed that Southampton can have an efficient library service if we implement the preferred option, with 99% of households being within a 1.5 mile distance from their closest library. "However, the findings of the consultation also show the important role that libraries play in Southampton's communities, so a decision on whether to introduce a community package will also be made, to allow this to continue.”