December D-day for library plans

Horncastle Library
Horncastle Library

Campaigners battling to stop a major cull of library services in Lincolnshire will have to wait until December to see if they have been successful.

Lincolnshire County Council’s executive committee - comprised of 12 councillors - will make a final decision on December 3.

The county council wants to close 32 of 47 libraries to save £2m for its budget.

A public consultation closed at the end of last month. Thousands of people took part with the vast majority thought to be against the cuts. A team of experts from Sheffield University has been called in to scrutinise the responses.

The county council’s scrutiny committee will meet on December 2 to debate any recommendations - with the final decision due 24 hours later.

Horncastle - and surrounding villages - could be particularly hard hit, if the council presses ahead with its original plan. Under the proposals, the opening times at the town’s library would be reduced by 16 hours a week.

Unless volunteers come forward, libraries in Wragby and Tattersall could close.

In addition, there are fears cuts to the mobile library service could have a major impact on villages.

Ironically, opening hours at Woodhall Spa library would be increased.

There has been widespread opposition to the council’s plans with more than 5,000 people signing a petition set up by a campaign group.

A spokesman for the group said: “We believe we have done everything we can.”

More than 100 people attended a public meeting in Horncastle and called for additional investment in libraries - and longer opening hours.

Coun Nick Worth, whose portfolio includes libraries, promised the public’s views would be taken on board before the decision is made.