County council libraries consultation ends

Lincolnshire County Council
Lincolnshire County Council

A public consultation on plans to withdraw funding from county council libraries has closed.

Lincolnshire County Council gave residents the chance to have their say on plans to close 32 of its 47 libraries.

The consultation closed yesterday (Monday) after 6,000 responses, numerous protests and heated council debates.

Council officers will now analyse all the feedback and aim to prepare a report by early November. The report will go before the council’s community and public safety scrutiny committee for recommendations on December 2 before a decision is made by the nine-person executive on December 3.

Under the proposals, Deepings Library in High Street, Market Deeping, would be among the 32 to lose funding.

It has been classed among the tier three libraries in the county and would be replaced by a visit from a library van for between six and eight hours every four weeks. This would be split either into four hours on a weekday or three hours on a Saturday every fortnight.

The council hopes volunteers will come forward to run the libraries that lose their funding, although campaigners in the Deepings are determined to keep a council-run service.

Libraries in both Stamford and Bourne would remain open, although opening hours in Stamford would be cut from 55 hours a week to 50. Bourne Library, which is run by South Kesteven District Council from the Corn Exchange, will still open for 46 hours a week.

Some village residents served by mobile libraries have been put in the same tier three as the Deepings and will see their visits increase. Places affected are Baston and Morton and Hanthorpe, which currently have a one hour visit every four weeks; Colsterworth and Langtoft, which have an hour and a half; and Northorpe, which has half an hour.

Tier four locations will have a service of one hour every four weeks. In Billingborough and Rippingale this means there is no change to the existing service.

In Castle Bytham, Tallington and Uffington the service will increase by 30 minutes. And in Corby Glen and Folkingham the visits will be cut by half an hour.

Some communities served by the Home Library Service, which delivers books directly to residents, will have their visits cut completely.

Aslackby, Braceborough, Greatford, Haconby, Kirkby Underwood, Little Bytham, Manthorpe, South Witham, Swinstead, Thurlby and Witham-on-the-Hill will all lose their service.