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Programme of library cuts goes ahead despite campaigners’ battle

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Lincolnshire County Council will press ahead with changes to its libraries programme next week despite an ongoing battle by campaigning group Save Lincolnshire Libraries.

New opening hours will come into force on May 6, as well as a new schedule for mobile library services.

Grantham will be open 9am-5pm Monday to Wednesday and Friday, and 9am-6pm Thursdays. Saturday hours are 9am-4pm. The library in Belton Lane will open 9am-4pm Monday to Friday.

The council said the changes come as the council works towards creating a new-look library service that “offers better value for money and is more tailored to local needs”.

Volunteers are being encouraged to pick up where LCC left off, with a number of community groups coming forward interested in setting up hubs.

Councillor Nick Worth, executive member for libraries, said: “We wanted to give volunteers enough time to lay firm foundations for the future. So, we agreed to run the libraries at these locations at reduced hours, until they are ready to develop their own community hub.

“Our existing community-run libraries, such as Saxilby and Waddington, have seen a great increase in opening hours, thanks to the efforts of volunteers.

“We hope to have all the new hubs, with their library offer, up and running by the end of March next year.”

Members of Save Lincolnshire Libraries have accused LCC of not listening to the people of Lincolnshire, and continue to fight the plans to cut the libraries budget by £2 million and reduce provisions across the county.

The group visited No. 10 Downing Street, handing over a letter and a book of 900 comments collected as part of a petition opposing the move. They received a reply shortly after, stating: “Mr Cameron is most grateful for the time and trouble you have

taken to get in touch.

“I have been asked to for-ward your letter and petition to the Department for Culture, Media and Sport so that they too are aware of your views.”

Information: www.lincolnshire.gov.uk/libraries or 01522 782010.

 

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