Deepings Library campaigners to hand in petition to county council

Deeping St James parish councillor Andrew Bowell who has set up a petition to save Deepings Library from closure.  Andrew, left, pictured in front of Deepings Library with  Deeping St James county councillor Phil Dilks.'Photo: MSMP250613-016ow
Deeping St James parish councillor Andrew Bowell who has set up a petition to save Deepings Library from closure. Andrew, left, pictured in front of Deepings Library with Deeping St James county councillor Phil Dilks.'Photo: MSMP250613-016ow

Campaigners have handed in a petition opposing plans to close their library to county council officers.

More than 7,800 people have signed the petition to save Deepings Library, in High Street, Market Deeping.

It was handed in to Lincolnshire County Council today (Tuesday) by Deeping St James parish councillor Andrew Bowell, who set up the petition, and county councillor for Deeping St James Phil Dilks (Lab).

The council will now have to have a debate on the petition at a future meeting.

Coun Dilks said: “The flawed consultation documents are based a myth that the 15 libraries planned to continue as council-run are in the most populous areas.

“The fact is that The Deepings population of 13,400 is bigger than five of the 15 areas who keep their library.

“The county council is also wrong to claim that libraries are in decline. The council’s own figures show the number of times Lincolnshire libraries were used rose from 2.7 million 10 years ago to over 3 million last year.

“I’m proud that the whole community of The Deepings is speaking with one voice, telling the county council that their plan is totally flawed and should be withdrawn.”

Among those to sign the petition were Deepings MP John Hayes and even county council leader Coun Martin Hill (Con). Coun Hill later said he would not have signed the document had he known its full wording.

The council hopes to save £2m from its annual £6m library budget and has proposed withdrawing funding from 32 if its 47 libraries.

It is hoped that volunteer teams will take on the running of libraries faced with closure.

Coun Dilks added: “Deepings refuses to accept that our choice is between volunteers running a downgraded book exchange for a few hours a week or a fortnightly visit from a mobile library.

“We are campaigning hard to keep our council-run library - and our professional librarians.

“It is cultural vandalism - the most draconian cuts in the 160-year history of library provision in this country.

“It’s now time for the nine members of the executive to listen to the voices of reason and scrap their discredited plan.”