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20,000 join fight against Lincolnshire library cuts

By Lincolnshire Echo  |  Posted: August 15, 2013

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Leading politicians from different parties across the county have condemned plans to shut 32 libraries – after more than 20,000 people signed petitions against the move.

District council chiefs say Lincolnshire County Council must rethink proposals to pull funding from libraries.

The county authority says it is necessary to save £2 million from its overall budget.

But after the petition passed the landmark 20,000 signatures, Marion Brighton, Tory leader of North Kesteven District Council, said: “Libraries must remain open at all costs. They are vital for communities. If libraries were to close, it would spark a spike in anti-social behaviour and more.

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“I do not think Lincolnshire County Council has thought this through and I am really quite worried about it.”

Ric Metcalfe, Labour leader of City of Lincoln Council, said: “We are very concerned. We will make representations to the county about this.”

Hundreds of campaigners will march through Lincoln city centre on September 21.

A demonstration will also take place outside County Offices on Friday, September 13.

Giles McNeil, chief whip of the governing Conservatives at West Lindsey District Council, said: “The amount of time given to the consultation period is not long enough. “We are all surprised at the council’s decision to cut more money from the libraries budget.”

The Save Lincolnshire Libraries campaign is supported by actress Minnie Driver, historian Mary Beard and author William Hussey. County council leader Martin Hill even signed a petition to save Deeping Library. Nick Worth, executive member for libraries, said: “While we understand the concerns of the district councils, they more than anyone should recognise the financial situation we face.”

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  • GedlingTnPeck  |  August 15 2013, 12:59PM

    So the Executive member for Libraries insists it should go ahead to save money, but the leader of the Council signs a petition against closure (probably only his own local one that slipped through the net) - seems farcical to me that Tories cant agree with each other -oops sorry quite normal My County Councillor says there is no policy to shut libraries so what is this all about then? Do we have any confidence that the Tories will take any notice of 20,000 voices and politicians? No after all ignoring the views of many is called "democracy" according to the Tories