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Hours to be cut at Deepings Library as council talks go on

Deepings Library, High Street, Market Deeping. File picture.
Photo: MSMP250613-010ow

Deepings Library, High Street, Market Deeping. File picture. Photo: MSMP250613-010ow

 

Opening hours at Deepings Library will be almost halved while a bid to run it on a voluntary basis is considered by council officials.

Plans for a radical reshaping of Lincolnshire’s library services were revealed by the county council today (Thursday).

The council has approved business plans from volunteer groups to run many of the 30 libraries it decided to stop funding.

A group called Friends of Deepings Library has submitted a plan to run the library in High Street, Market Deeping. The council has asked the group to develop its plan further, but in the meantime has pressed ahead with plans to cut opening hours.

This means from Tuesday the library will open 17 hours a week instead of 30. The new hours will be 10am to 2pm Mondays, 1pm to 6pm Wednesdays, 1pm to 6pm Fridays and 10am to 1pm Saturdays.

Deeping St James parish councillor Judy Stevens is one of many who campaigned fiercely to save the library. She said the Friends were working on their bid, which had been put back because of confusion over the status of the building itself.

She added: “I think we are in a difficult position because of the situation with the building. But we are rising to the challenge and there are steps to be put in place to rethink our bid. We haven’t given up on it.

“At the beginning of the year we were knocked off course by the thought that we might not be able to keep the library building and we didn’t discover we would be able to until just before the deadline. It was quite a big ask to get the bid up to speed in such a short space of time.”

The group has always maintained funding should not have been withdrawn from Deepings Library. A campaign group called Save Lincolnshire Libraries has taken that same position on all the county’s libraries and has launched a judicial review into the cuts to the service.

The review will be held in the High Court in London on July 8 and 9.

Save Lincolnshire Libraries alleges that the county council’s consultation was illegal as the decision had already been taken; the council failed to deal with the harm caused to people under the Equalities Act; the council did not properly consider a proposal from Greenwich Leisure to run the library service; and the council is failing to provide a comprehensive public library service under the Libraries Act.

 

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