Community centres and libraries are under threat – with possible mergers, relocations and community asset transfers to be considered by council chiefs.

Library options include potential relocation and co-location of libraries, reviewing opening hours and relying on further volunteer support.

Options for community centres include offloading them via community asset transfers ‘where possible’, further co-location of services within centres and exploring greater using them to encourage community businesses.

With library provision a statutory responsibility of local authorities, North Ayrshire Council are legally obliged to consult on changes to services.

And NAC says wide-ranging engagement will be carried out in the coming weeks to determine how the services can best be delivered under sustained financial pressure.

Meeting papers state they hope to have the actions agreed by November this year.

The Review of Libraries and Community Centres is expected to be approved at cabinet today [Tuesday, January 15] after it previously agreed to set up a working group with North Ayrshire Federation of Community Organisations (NAFCO) to develop proposals in February last year.

Cabinet Member for Communities, Councillor Louise McPhater said: “Residents will be well aware of the financial challenges faced by councils across Scotland – we have to find viable, economic solutions which allow us to continue to deliver the services people want.

“We are proud of the relationship with our communities and that’s why we want to them to play a key role in helping to shape the future of our libraries and community centres.”