THE voluntary sector is refusing to co-operate with Trafford council plans to replace library staff with unpaid workers.

The move is being proposed as part of the authority’s £16m package of budget cats and will see employees at Hale and Old Trafford libraries have their jobs filled by volunteers.

Barbara Bleeker, chief officer for Trafford CVS said: “There’s a lot of anger about it because they are kicking people out of their jobs.

“It’s job substitution and our national body will not let us do that sort of thing.

“Volunteering is not about kicking people out of jobs and I don’t think any other volunteer centres in the country would get involved in something where they’re replacing paid workers with volunteers.”

Deputy leader Cllr Alex Williams said the council was committed to keeping all the borough’s libraries open and said the plan is nothing new.

“Volunteers have been running libraries in other authorities including Hackney and Buckinghamshire since 2007.

In our proposals the council would support the volunteers by buying and maintaining the stock, maintaining the buildings and providing training to the groups that took on responsibility for the running of the library.”

* The proposal has already sparked outrage in the north of the borough, with Old Trafford Community Liaison Group (OTCLG) sending an open letter to councillors, backed by a petition signed by 160 of the area’s residents.