The Deepings unite against plans to close library

Residents at the public meeting on plans to close Deepings Library
Residents at the public meeting on plans to close Deepings Library
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Political allegiances were cast aside as a community vowed to fight county council plans to close their library.

About 200 people went to a public meeting at The Deepings Centre in Market Deeping yesterday (Thursday).

Lincolnshire county councillor Phil Dilks (Lab) speaks to residents at the public meeting on plans to close Deepings Library

Lincolnshire county councillor Phil Dilks (Lab) speaks to residents at the public meeting on plans to close Deepings Library

Residents of Market Deeping, Deeping St James, West Deeping, Deeping Gate and Langtoft were united in their determination to fight for the future of Deepings Library, in High Street, Market Deeping.

The facility has been earmarked for closure by Lincolnshire County Council as part of a county-wide consultation aimed at cutting £2m from the libraries budget.

Members of Market Deeping Town Council and Deeping St James Parish Council were joined by county councillors for the area and Deepings MP John Hayes (Con).

Mr Hayes told the meeting he was proud and honoured to support the campaign to keep the library open.

He said: “We can have an effect if we work together and act together.

“By working across political parties I think we can make a difference.”

The meeting was chaired by county councillor for Deeping St James Phil Dilks (Lab), pictured inset. Coun Dilks said more than 3,000 people had already signed a petition opposing the closure and once that number reached 3,500 the issue would have to be debated by the full council.

He called the plans “cultural vandalism” and urged residents to make the case for the library to the county council’s executive member for libraries, culture and heritage Coun Nick Worth (Con).

Coun Dilks had invited Coun Worth and head of libraries and heritage Jonathan Platt to the meeting, but both declined.

Several residents at the meeting offered to help distribute petition sheets and Deepings Raft Race committee member Bruce Tokens offered to set up a stall at the event on August 4.

After the meeting Mr Hayes said: “It is really encouraging to see people coming out to a meeting like this to express their feelings about the importance of libraries and what they do.

“Libraries play a key part in informing what a community is and inspiring the people who live there.

“I am proud to support this campaign.”

The petition can be signed online at Change.org.

A public display of support will be held at the library at 10.30am on July 27. Campaigners will link hands around the library in a book circle and people are invited to bring their favourite book from which to read a passage.

The consultation runs until September 30. Visit the Lincolnshire County Council website to have your say.