Campaigners against cuts to libraries vow to fight on

Ruskington library - one of the 30 destined to be handed over to be run by volunteers.
Ruskington library - one of the 30 destined to be handed over to be run by volunteers.

Campaigners opposed to cuts to Lincolnshire’s library service have vowed to fight on after the county council gave the go-ahead for the plans.

Last Tuesday, members of Lincolnshire County Council’s executive agreed to hand over the running of 30 of its 45 libraries - including those at Ruskington and Metheringham - to volunteers.

The move is set to save the council £2m, but would also see the affected libraries close if community groups are not in place to plug the gap.

The plans have attracted strong public opposition, including a petition of 23,000 names.

Julie Harrison, spokesman for the Save Lincolnshire Libraries group, described last Tuesday’s decision as ‘absolutely appalling’, fearing for the accessibility of the service under a model that relies so heavily on volunteers.

She said: “The outcome for Lincolnshire’s libraries is going to be really, really serious. It’s going to be seriously devastating.”

She said the group will be meeting to discuss the next step in their campaign.

“The fight definitely goes on,” she said.

After the executive board made its decision, Lincolnshire County Council issued a statement defending the move.

Coun Nick Worth, executive member for libraries, said: “The way in which libraries are used is changing, not just in Lincolnshire, but across the country, and it’s important we adapt with the times. We are excited by the potential for community development of the new-look community hubs, and I look forward to working with those that have come forward.”