Lincoln public fight back against library cuts

Protestors today took to the streets to show their feelings about the decision of Lincolnshire County Council to slash library services.

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Protesters march down steep hill. Photo: Chris Gray

Around 400 people marched against the plans that involve the closure of 32 libraries in the county, leading to 170 job losses but saving £2million.

The leaflet handed out to people on the street who came across the protest included information about other cuts the council plans, which involve the reduction of 400 community mobile libraries to 126, the “slashing” of the hours for remaining libraries and the selling off of the buildings currently used for libraries.

The group that organised the march, “Save Lincolnshire Libraries”, have also set out what they aim to achieve by organising this march and their on going petition.

The official statement says, “We SAY NO to all cuts to our vital library services and that the most vulnerable people will be most affected by the proposals.”

The Linc spoke to protestors, with one saying, “It’s a form of social vandalism. There’s going to be 30,000 kids without access to books and that must be a crime.”

With another saying, “The cuts are going to cut off a lot of people in rural areas of Lincolnshire because the rural transport areas of Lincoln are not that good.”

Speaking to the protestors, the aim is to get the nine members of the council that are responsible for making the decision on the closure of libraries to completely change their minds.

The public anger at this potential cull of local library services is clear to see, as 20,000 have signed a petition, which was delivered to the council last week.

The Save Lincolnshire Libraries campaign has also attracted celebrity interest with broadcaster and author, Melvin Bragg giving his support.

In a statement, he said, “The public library system in this country is one of the finest achievements that we have, alongside the BBC and the British museum. To close libraries is to close minds, especially young minds.”

The councillors responsible for this potential cut in library services have blamed the previous government, with Lincolnshire County Councillor, Nick Worth speaking at a debate about this issue at the council offices, saying, “The reason we have to make cuts is because of the national deficit Labour left us in.”

The time for public consultation on the proposed movement to cut library services ends on the 30th September, with the final decision to be made on the 3rd December.

If you would like to understand more about this campaign, visit www.savelincslibraries.org.uk

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