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Editor turned councillor cuts newspapers from libraries

A former newspaper editor who went to become a local councillor has announced the axeing of hard copies of newspapers from local libraries – including his old title!

Andy Martin was editor of the Bournemouth Echo from 2015 to 2019 before subsequently being elected to Bournemouth, Christchurch and Poole Council where he is now cabinet member for communications and culture.

In that role, he recently announced that the authority had decided to cut all physical copies of newspapers in its 24 libraries across the patch, saving around £15,000 a year.

The Echo will still be available digitally on a subscription-free basis to library members along with the national titles.


Bournemouth Library

Cllr Martin said: “Councils across the country are facing an unprecedented challenge. Soaring inflation has driven up costs and many councils are facing an increase in demand for core services, such as social care, education and highways.

“The council’s budget pressures have led to a need to reduce the library services operational costs, and the decision to remove physical copies of newspapers from BCP libraries will save £15,000 per year.

“Newspapers will remain available subscription free online for all library members and can be accessed both within the libraries and on personal devices.”

Commenting on the move, current Echo editor James Johnson told HTFP: “I’m sure there will be many people – myself included – who will be saddened by the loss of hard copies of newspapers at libraries in the BCP.

“Unfortunately it is a sign of changing times, as well as the financial pressures that councils are under, and cuts have to fall somewhere.

“The good news is that it seems all newspapers will be available for library visitors in other formats and this is something I would urge the council to continue in future.”