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Library consultation results reveal people want their libraries

On November 22, there will be an informal County Council meeting putting forward a proposal to councillors, but this proposal is not yet known.

On November 22, there will be an informal County Council meeting putting forward a proposal to councillors, but this proposal is not yet known.

The results from the public consultation on removing funding from 32 libraries in order for the council to save £2 million has been revealed.

The results were revealed at the community and public safety scrutiny meeting on Wednesday (October 30).

The findings were presented by Sheffield Hallam University and the main factor that came out of the consultation was that there was “widespread opposition” to the council’s plans.

Many participants also found the survey and consultation events unsuitable or inadequate and it was even found that young people, the next generation to use our libraries opposed the plans.

The results showed that well over 60 per cent of people said that changes to our libraries would effect them personally and impact on their community.

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

“It will take some time to digest the full findings and review our initial ideas in light of the feedback. However, we’re working to have our final proposals ready towards the end of November.”

Coun Stephen Palmer added: “This consultation result has just shown what those against the proposals have been saying all along.

“Communities have been frightened into trying to come up with volunteers to take over their libraries because they don’t want a inadequate mobile service which was their only other option.

“There are also worries on how to raise thousands of pounds a year to run the two libraries in my division, Alford and Sutton on Sea.

“We must not also forget the loss of mobile stops at places such as Huttoft and Bilsby where their communities have had no options at all just ceasing of the service.”

He also said: “I would say to the nine executives of the council, that this is far more important than libraries this is about showing the electorate that consultations are not rubber stamping exercises as critics say, this is about reconnecting with voters, this is about transparency, this is about being seen to do the right thing by the people who put you in power, this is about your election promises to protect frontline services.”

An informal council meeting that will put forward the next proposal is due to take place on November 22.

 

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