CIVIC chiefs in Southampton have approved plans that would see five Southampton libraries close unless community groups take them on.

The decision of tonight’s cabinet meeting means the council will stop running Cobbett Road, Burgess Road, Millbrook, Thornhill and Weston libraries next April.

It will also mean the mobile library service will close as part of the £286,000 annual savings that will cost six jobs.

While Labour council bosses say they believe groups will take on the management of all five libraries, the proposals have been attacked by opposition politicians and library users.

Labour leisure chief Satvir Kaur has insisted that the city will still have an “efficient” library service with 99 per cent of residents within a mile-and-a-half of a library, opponents say the impact could be “devastating” on communities.