Deepings Library campaigners grill councillor at public meeting

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A crowd of about 250 people trying to save their library from closure attended a public meeting last night (Tuesday) to grill the councillor responsible.

Lincolnshire County Council’s executive member for libraries Nick Worth (Con) answered questions from campaigners at the meeting at The Deepings School.

The meeting was arranged by a group fighting plans to withdraw funding from Deepings Library in High Street, Market Deeping, along with 31 others in the county.

Members of the public put their questions to Coun Worth, raising concerns about the effects on children and the vulnerable and reiterating the importance of the library to the community.

South Kesteven district councillor Judy Stevens (Independent), who chaired the meeting, said: “The library is the building block of our civilisation and it was put in place over a number of years and I think we take away the building blocks of our social cohesion at our peril.

“Because once we take them away it is the devil’s own job to put them back into place.

“It is not just about getting books or using the internet. It’s about having interaction with other people.

“It is about the book club I belong to, it is about the book readings they do for children, which is actually award-winning, it’s about the whole structure and how it pulls the community together as the hub of the community.”

Coun Worth outlined the county council’s proposals and Lincolnshire county councillor for Deeping St James, Phil Dilks, made a presentation outlining an argument against closing Deepings Library.

Campaigners fighting the closure demanded last night’s meeting after the council failed to hold a consultation in the Deepings.

The nearest meeting was in Spalding, where the library is set to stay open.

A petition against the library proposals was handed over to the county council on August 27. Almost 8,000 people signed the document, which called on the council to reconsiders its plans to withdraw funding from library services.

The council will now have to debate the petition at a future meeting, expected to take place on Friday.