Protest group to hold public meeting in Grantham against library cuts

Many libraries in Lincolnshire face an uncertain future.
Many libraries in Lincolnshire face an uncertain future.
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A public meeting will be held on Monday, September 16, to debate proposed library cuts in the county including reduced hours in Grantham.

The Save Lincolnshire Libraries meeting will take place in the Newton Room in the Guildhall Arts Centre, St Peter’s Hill at 7.30pm.

Local poet Val Odell will be one of the guest speakers. Val’s poem on The Mallard can be viewed on the new sign on Platform 1 at Grantham Station. Petition forms will also be available and people are welcome to drop in after the main meeting with any questions.

Grantham South County Councillor Charmaine Morgan, a member of the Council’s Communities Scrutiny Committee, which refused to endorse the proposals, said: “Our library services play a pivotal role in our communities and only a library offers a chance to browse and discover new topics or authors for free. These cuts will hit those living in our rural communities and vulnerable people relying on access to Grantham’s stretched library services the most. Rural children will be particularly affected.”

In a bid to save £2m from the library budget the County Council Executive plans to reduce the number of villages receiving a mobile library service from 400 communities to 126. Of those remaining many face cuts to their services, with a few receiving an increase.

It is proposed that only 15 out of 47 libraries remain open, including Grantham, where five hours per week will be lost.

Coun Morgan said: “Competition to access key library services including computer use and book lending will increase as villagers around Grantham are forced to travel, whether they can afford to, or not. The scale of cuts becomes clear when we examine the impact on villages surrounding Grantham alone.”

There is an on-line petition to sign at http://SaveLincsLibraries.org.uk