Library cuts plans slammed

Executive member for libraries Coun Nick Worth. SG110913-223NG
Executive member for libraries Coun Nick Worth. SG110913-223NG
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People have slammed county council plans to pull the plug on more than 30 libraries by shifting them into the hands of volunteers.

Sheffield Hallam University has just unveiled results of the council’s own official survey.

More than 6,000 people took part and their comments will make dismal reading for council bosses trying to save £2million and shed 177 jobs.

Key findings include:

l Strong public feeling with many participants “angry and upset”

l Many found the survey and consultation events “unsuitable” and “inadequate”

l Some 68 per cent said changes would have a significant effect on their communities

The report continues: “The impacts of these changes to the service were reported to be damaging to communities, particularly affecting the elderly, children and young people and jobseekers.”

Revised proposals will be published by the county council on Friday, November 22 and a final decision will be made by the executive on December 3.

Coun Nick Worth, executive member for libraries, said: “Clearly there are people who would like the service to remain exactly as it is now.”

But others understood the need for change.

He said there had been 42 expressions of interest from groups willing to take over 25 libraries or create brand new, community run libraries.

Coun Philk Dilks, who has campaigned to save the library in Market Deeping, said the consultation was more about the council recruiting volunteers to run libraries rather than listening to people who want to keep them as they are.

l The survey does not reveal which libraries stay or go.