Concerns over threat to mobile libraries

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A parish council has raised concerns that villagers will be badly hit if proposals to reduce library services in Lincolnshire go ahead.

The county council is proposing to close 32 of the 47 
libraries in the county, including the one in High Street, Market Deeping, and change mobile library 
services to villages.

The one-hour a week mobile service to Thurlby and home library service in Witham-on-the-Hill would 
be axed entirely if the proposals go ahead.

Bourne library would be one of five “tier two” libraries to survive the cuts and its hours would be unchanged.

It is currently open for 46 hours a week as it is run by South Kesteven District Council as part of an arrangement made when it was moved into the Corn Exchange. Despite the library in Bourne keeping its opening hours, Thurlby and Northorpe Parish Council is concerned the plans would badly affect residents.

Thurlby parish clerk Bernard Champness said: “It will have quite an impact on the people in the village, especially if they are older or disabled who might live at the far end of the village and struggle to get to Bourne.”

The parish council has written to the county council saying it had “grossly under-estimated” the size of the community in the Thurlby area.

At a meeting of the parish council last week concerns were raised that the consultation documents stated Thurlby had fewer than 100 houses, when the total is nearer to 1,000.

The small number of people who use the mobile services was one of the council’s justifications behind its proposals to change the services.

Lincolnshire county councillor Helen Powell (Ind), who represents the Bourne Castle ward, said: “If residents want their library services 
left intact they must write without delay to the county council and put across the need and relevance of their service being left as it is. If not, wrong decisions could be made.”

The consultation will run until September 30.

The county council’s executive will make
the final decision at its 
meeting in December once it has had a chance to review feedback from the consultation.

For further details on the proposals and to take part in the consultation visit Alternatively, call 01522 782040 or pick up a copy of the questionnaire in your
local library.