Views from both sides of Lincolnshire library cuts debate

Deepings Library book circle protest'All pose for photo before cicling library for readings, front are Chair PC Andy Peeling, Phil Dilks, district councillor Judy Stevens, parish councillor Andrew Bowell, Mayor Xan Collins'Photo:  SG260713-119TW www.spaldingtoday.co.uk/buyaphoto ENGANL00120130727121856

Deepings Library book circle protest'All pose for photo before cicling library for readings, front are Chair PC Andy Peeling, Phil Dilks, district councillor Judy Stevens, parish councillor Andrew Bowell, Mayor Xan Collins'Photo: SG260713-119TW www.spaldingtoday.co.uk/buyaphoto ENGANL00120130727121856

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Have your say

This is what those fighting for or against the cuts to Lincolnshire County Council’s library service have to say.

Lincolnshire County Council

Executive member for libraries Nick Worth (Con), pictured left, said: “Officers have put in a lot of work to address the issues raised during the court case.

“Having done so, they still believe the model previously agreed by the executive is the right way forward.

“Volunteers would be at the heart of that new-look service, and we have been keeping in close contact with those that have come forward as things developed.”

Coun Worth added: “I look forward to the views of the scrutiny committee and the debate at the executive meeting. However, I’m confident that the ultimate outcome will be a comprehensive and efficient service that meets the needs of residents.”

Save Lincolnshire Libraries

After 18 months campaigning, Save Lincolnshire Libraries continues the fight to keep libraries open across Lincolnshire, run by professional and paid staff but supported by volunteers.

At the heart of the fight are volunteers. The council believes volunteers will “save” the libraries under threat. Campaigners maintain that libraries wholly run by volunteers are wrong, on many levels: they enable staff to be sacked, they do not provide the same level of service as a professional library, service quality becomes a postcode lottery and they put a massive burden on unpaid members of the public. Campaigner Angela Montague said: “My fear is many volunteer libraries will fold within 12 to 18 months - just enough time for the council to dodge the blame - and this will be devastating for the people who have tried to make it work.”

Friends of Deepings Library

The Friends of Deeping Library was formed to fight the council’s proposal – either to get it reversed, or to seek to keep a volunteer library open.

The fight has been going on ever since, right up to the High Court and beyond. The council was told to repeat its consultation on the proposals and, for a while, we had hoped that a different plan might emerge. However, all protest has been ignored; the council is to press on with the original policy and we now have until September 30 to take the library over or to see it close.

As a result, the Friends of Deepings Library will now be consulting with local residents, asking if they will help to run our library and aim to keep it open, or see it lost forever, to be replaced by a mobile library. We intend to call a public meeting and to consult online in the near future.