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Lincs council in libraries consultation reminder

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Lincolnshire County Council has warned that people only have a month left to submit their views over highly controversial plans to close dozens of libraries in the county.

The local authority plans to shut all but 15 libraries in the county in a bid to save money, amid swingeing budget cuts.

Those libraries being shut would be replaced by mobile library services.

The move has proven highly contentious with residents, many of whom are concerned about the reduced service, the loss of a community meeting place for the elderly and local groups, and the limited resources a mobile library can provide.

Already there have been protests at a number of towns - including one in Alford just last Thursday when dozens of people and councillors gathered to voice their anger.

There is now just over a month left for people to have their say on the future of Lincolnshire’s libraries.

Councillor Nick Worth, executive member for libraries, said: “So far, we’ve received around 2,500 questionnaires, as well as 350 individual letters/emails.

“We’ve had eight consultation events around the county, attended by around 220 people, and there have been more than 5,000 visits to our consultation webpages.

“A range of views have been offered on the initial proposals. Some people would like to see libraries become multi-use buildings, incorporating other services such as cafes and heritage centres.

“Others have suggested ways of raising income or extending the choice of services on offer. Another key theme is the right balance between council-run libraries, community libraries and mobile libraries.

“All these comments will be taken into consideration in making a final decision on how best to create a more efficient, more affordable library service that meets local needs.

“People have until September 30 to take part in the consultation. We want to hear everyone’s views, so make sure you have your say before the deadline,” they added.

The council has been contacted by 21 communities interested in taking over their local library, and have received an offer from Lincolnshire Co-operative to support six sites, including one in Spilsby.

People can have their say by filling in the online questionnaire at www.lincolnshire.gov.uk/librariesconsultation, calling the customer service centre on 01522 782010 or picking up a hard copy in their local library.

 

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