Libraries under threat as council bids to save budget

Wragby library
Wragby library

Libraries in the area are under threat after Lincolnshire County Council revealed changes in the service to save £2m from its budget.

In its initial proposals the Council is hoping to continue with 15 council-staffed libraries, including Horncastle and Woodhall Spa’s.

It is also proposed that Wragby Library would be taken out of council control.

Horncastle and Woodhall Spa libraries would fall under the Tier 2 category and would be open for 25 hours per week.

Horncastle Library is open for 40 hours per week.

Woodhall Spa would see an increase of over five hours per week, and this would include a mobile library.

Coningsby would lose its static library entirely and would go from a 28 hour week to six or eight hours per month with a mobile library.

Councillor Nick Worth, executive member for libraries, said: “The way in which libraries are used is changing, not just in Lincolnshire but across the country.

“In Lincolnshire, 82 per cent of the population are not active borrowers, and book stock issued in the county in the last 10 years has dropped from five million to under three million.

“The library service is changing, like it or not, and our vision for the future of the service is a comprehensive one, but one that remains both affordable and efficient.”

A local campaign group, Save Lincolnshire Libraries, has been set up to protest against the changes.

Spokesman Paul Stainthorp said: “The county council say they’ll run a public consultation in July, to ‘gauge the appetite’ for cuts to public libraries.

“We don’t think the people of Lincolnshire have any ‘appetite’ to lose their valued local library, and we’ll continue to campaign against these destructive cuts to public services.”

Coun Bill Aron, county Councillor for Horncastle, said: “I feel it was inevitable that the library service within Lincolnshire required an in-depth review due to the changes that are taking place regards technology and the number of library books on loan has dropped dramatically but its offer has widened to DVD hire, computer and internet use. I would encourage everyone to participate in the council’s comprehensive consultation.”

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