LIBRARIES across the Clydebank area could be closed - or 'co-located' under proposals to plug West Dunbartonshire Council's £21.6 million budget gap.

Dalmuir Library could be moved to the Dalmuir Community Centre, while the libraries in Duntocher, Parkhall, Faifley and Balloch could be co-located with other services or shut altogether.

The Dalmuir library plans would free up £530,000 committed by WDC to create a gallery space in the existing library - and a further £700,000 set aside for building upgrades. 

There is also potential to generate capital of around £270,000 from the sale of the current library building, which is open between 9.30am to 5pm Monday to Friday and 10am to 1pm on a Saturday. 

Papers to be presented to councillors this Wednesday, state that “co-locating” the library would retain the facility “for the benefit of the community with savings generated from repairs, maintenance and running costs from the current library site".

Councillors will also be asked to consider further options for co-location and closure of four other libraries outside the area's three main towns of Alexandria, Dumbarton and Clydebank.”

There are eight libraries across West Dunbartonshire - three in the main towns of Alexandria, Dumbarton and Clydebank and the remaining five in the nearby and surrounding villages.

Members will be asked to decide if they want to 'co-locate' Balloch, Duntocher, Parkhall and Faifley libraries - generating a saving of £100,000 in running costs - or close them altogether.

The latter move would generate savings of around £427,000 and result in the loss of 12 posts. 

During Wednesday’s budget meeting, councillors will also be asked to set council tax for the coming financial year.

Options to increase council tax between three and 12 per cent will also be presented to members - but as it stands, a rise of 3.4 per cent is expected to be agreed by members.

The report also states that gas is expected to cost West Dunbartonshire Council £1.5 million next year, rising to £2.1m by 2027-28.

Meanwhile, electricity will go up from £1.1m to £1.6m in the next three years.

Street lighting costs will increase from £57,000 in 2023-24 to £213,000 by 2027-28, while landfill tax will go up from £12,000 to £60,000 in the next three years. 

West Dunbartonshire Council also has the option to use £6 million in reserves, earmarked in December 2022, to help the local authority “smooth over” its finances.

The report says the £6m would be used evenly over the three-year period if the option is taken up.

If members agree to all the proposals, there will be a remaining budget gap of £1.3 million for 2023-24, prior to any council tax increase.

An increase of 3.4 per cent in council tax would be required to deliver a balanced budget.

A final decision will be made at Wednesday's meeting, which begins at 4pm at the council's headquarters in Dumbarton.

Trade union representatives are expected to hold a demonstration outside the council building before the meeting begins.