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Lincolnshire libraries: council reveals the successful bids for services that faced closure

By Lincolnshire Echo  |  Posted: May 01, 2014

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Lincolnshire County Council has this morning revealed that community bids for libraries in 30 locations have succeeded.

These include three areas that don’t currently have services.

Elsewhere, communities in seven ares are being asked to develop their plans further, of which three are in areas currently without provision.

Subject to a Judicial Review of its move to make 30 libraries community run, the council anticipates new-look services will come on stream between July and next March.

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There will be a 40 per cent reduction in library opening hours from next Tuesday or until such time as communities take on services.

Minimum opening times for community-run libraries will be 6 hours a week, although the council says many groups have expressed an interest in opening for longer.

The council is offering groups £5,167 grant funding a year for four years plus a one-off £15,000 capital payment.

Peppercorn rents will apply for four years, and groups will be offered assistance in applying for grants and ongoing training of volunteers.

Communities where service criteria has been made are: Alford, Bracebridge, Bracebridge Heath, Crowland, Ingoldmells (new), Navenby (new), Barrowby (new), Boultham, Nettleham, Spilsby, Coningsby, Cherry Willingham, Birchwood, Branston, Burgh le Marsh, Caistor, Ermine, Holbeach, Metheringham, North Hykeham (town council), North Hykeham (district council), Pinchbeck, Ruskington, Scotter, Wainfleet, Skellingthorpe, Sutton on Sea, Washingborough, Welton, Donington, Wragby.

Communities asked to develop their plans further are: Heckington (new), Kirton, Swineshead (new), Keelby, The Deepings, Chapel St Leonards (new), Sutton Bridge.

Councillor Nick Worth, the county council's executive member for libraries, said: "We have a lot of community support out there to run libraries and people are coming up with some quite innovative solutions.

"They see options for solutions not just for libraries, but for other services as well.

"What is clear is that no services are closing.

"If we get a postive outcome from the Judicial Review, which we anticipate, we can press the green button and they're ready to go.

"I'm not expecting the Judicial Review to say think again but if it does, we will have to bear in mind the review looks at the process, not the decision, so we would have to look again at the process."

The council's shake-up of libraries will save around £2m from the service.

Around 35 staff will be made redundant.

Fifteen core libraries, including Lincoln Central Library, will remain in the county council's hands but hours will be reduced.

The council is retaining mobile library stops in more than 220 locations and removing them from about 165 areas.

Julie Harrison, from Save Lincolnshire Libraries, said: “We applaud those volunteers who have got involved and made submissions.

“But we feel that the phrase ‘volunteer’ is an unusual choice because communities have been told to come up with something or have nothing.

“We still say that libraries need to be professionally led and we feel that if community hubs are the only solution, then moving forward, many libraries will close in future.”

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8 comments

  • Pete67  |  May 05 2014, 2:18PM

    GedlingTnPeck - - - I've been thinking about your post, and it's been making me wonder if it's a bit like someone building something then applying for retrospective planning permission.

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  • Pete67  |  May 03 2014, 8:45AM

    mydogcharlie - - - Haven't you realised that everybody is paying for this service to start with, but the council basically wants to withdraw it without any reduction in the initial charge.

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  • Arthrys  |  May 02 2014, 12:46PM

    mydogcharlie...I think that is a good point. LCC are so proud of the fact they didn't increase the Council Tax they forgot to ask if people are happy with the level of services we are all getting

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  • mydogcharlie  |  May 02 2014, 11:00AM

    If the Council raised the Council tax by £10.00 per year problem solved. The issue is everyone wants a slice of the cake but nobody wants to pay for it. Probably be cheaper for the council to supply e readers.

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  • GedlingTnPeck  |  May 02 2014, 9:34AM

    Well yes - but only the Executive who voted for it as the rest of the Council had no say.

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  • Arthrys  |  May 02 2014, 8:48AM

    Are our Councillors responsible for this actually proud of the public service they are giving their community and think they are doing a good job?

    Rate   7
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  • GedlingTnPeck  |  May 01 2014, 11:30PM

    Hours at Lincoln Central are being reduced this month so County Council is pressing ahead of the Judicial review

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  • Bobrkh  |  May 01 2014, 9:05PM

    30 Libraries to be community run. Minimum opening times for community-run libraries of 6 hours a week, although the council says many groups have expressed an interest in opening for longer. I hope so because one hour a day isn't very much for the varied needs of a community. The council may be retaining mobile library stops in more than 220 locations but is removing them from about 165 areas. Around 35 trained staff will be made redundant. Not to mention those who have already gone. Only fifteen core libraries, including Lincoln Central Library, will remain in the county council's hands and hours will be reduced. Does this leave the County Council controlling "a comprehensive and efficient library service, as required by the Public Libraries and Museums Act 1964" for a large, disparate county like Lincolnshire?

    Rate   8
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