Birmingham City Council stops buying new books for some of its libraries

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Labour controlled Birmingham City Council has been criticised after it was revealed that some of their libraries have stopped buying new books.

The council spent nearly £200 million on a new central library in 2013 and has since then halved opening hours and made 100 staff redundant in a bid to make savings. An investment from Google meant that there has been an increase in opening hours but some local residents have queried why the old library needed to be closed.

The previous central library building was opened in 1974 and was the largest public library in Europe outside of capital cities. The library was also the second more visited in the UK with nearly 1.2 million visitors a year.

The City Council has said that it planned to spend £1 million on new books over the coming year but this represents a substantial fall on previous years.