LIBRARY CLOSURES: Ten things we think are really unfair

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Nick Worth, the councillor who plans to sack our professional librarians and pull funding for 33 of Lincolnshire’s 47 libraries, says Deepings residents making their voices heard to save our library are being unfair (Spalding Guardian, July 25).

Please allow me to explain ten things to Coun Worth that Deepings residents think are really unfair:

1. Promising in your election leaflets to ‘enhance cultural opportunity’ to get votes, but keeping your draconian plan to slash cultural opportunity secret until after the election.

2. Treating our dedicated professional library staff with total lack of respect by announcing they will be sacked and replaced by volunteers expected to do their job for nothing with no training and little back-up.

3. Threatening residents in 33 communities that unless they step forward to run their library on these terms, then it will close and never reopen.

4. Scrapping funding for our library in the Deepings (population 13,400) at the same time as increasing funding and library opening hours in much smaller places such as Woodhall Spa (population 3,900).

5. Staging a ‘consultation’ meeting on the future of Deepings Library 11 miles away from Deepings in a town whose library is not listed for closure and in the middle of a working day when most people are unable to take part.

6. Expecting people to sit in silence through presentations but allowing the public just 20 minutes for questions at the end of a two hour ‘consultation’ meeting.

7. Showing selective statistics to claim Lincolnshire libraries are in decline yet failing to show your own research that shows visits to Lincolnshire libraries increased over the past ten years from under 2.7 million to over three million.

8. Insulting Deepings residents by telling us that our community is ‘not deprived enough’ to warrant a county-funded library...

9. Expecting anyone to believe your claims that you are ‘enhancing’ library services and don’t want to close any library, despite your own consultation document stating that under your plan: ‘the number of static libraries which are considered to be part of the authority’s statutory duty would fall from 47 to 15.’

10. Suggesting that the 15 libraries you have listed to stay open are in the ‘most populous areas’ knowing that is not true.

It’s not the people of Deepings fighting to keep our library properly funded who are being unfair – it’s Coun Worth and his fellow executive members who are pushing ahead with their next deeply unfair round of damaging cuts.

Phil Dilks

Deeping St James

county councillor

PS: Anyone who agrees the plan is unfair can sign our petition online at change.org – or visit our stand outside the Library at the Deepings Raft Race noon-4pm this Sunday.