Barrowby’s library bid moves forward

Lincolnshire County Council.

Lincolnshire County Council.

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A Grantham community could be one of the first in the county to set up a library run by volunteers.

Parish councillors in Barrowby are in talks with the county council about setting up the service.

The move follows a shake-up by the county councll over the way libraries are run.

The controversial scheme will see 15 main libraries retained - including the one in Grantham - but others will be redeveloped as “community hubs”.

The move is expected to save the council about £2m a year and will mean the loss of more than 60 jobs. However, It could also mean new services being launched in some areas.

Community groups will receive £15,000 to set up their library, followed by £5,000 a year for four years.If it goes ahead, the new Barrowby library would be installed in the village Reading Room.

Members of a village group working to set up the library believe it will be well used by children, young people and older people in the village, which has 2,000 residents and a primary school with 250 pupils.

Initially it would be open on Wednesday afternoons and Saturday mornings, but supporters hope this could be extended. When the plan was first mooted it was hoped the library could be open early next year.

The county council is pressing ahead with the shake-up after the failure of two legal challenges brought by campaign group Save Lincolnshire Libraries.

Council leader Martin Hill claimed the challenges were unnecessary and politically-inspired. He said: “Over £350,000 of taxpayers’ money has been wasted and voluntary groups frustrated as a result of this action.”