Leader’s pledge on libraries row

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the Labour leader has weighed in to the fight to stave off the closure of many of Doncaster’s branch libraries

Next month Ed Miliband will make a personal appearance alongside campaigners who are not giving up the battle to save 14 Doncaster libraries from the budget cutbacks.

The Doncaster North MP is visiting Sprotbrough Library, in Sprotborough Road, on Saturday July 9, from 10.15am, which is one of the branches facing the axe because of cuts imposed by the Coalition Government.

But Mr Miliband believes libraries “are at the heart of Doncaster’s communities” and has previously spoken out in support of the Save Doncaster Libraries campaign.

Now he will meet SDL campaigners in person to hear their concerns.

He said: “I’m very happy to add my support to keep the libraries open. They are an essential part of the community here in Doncaster and play a vital role in ensuring access to reading and learning.”

Elected Mayor Peter Davies decided to close more than half of the borough’s 26 libraries in February, ignoring a petition signed by 14,000 people opposed to the plans.

However, pressure from campaigners, supported by ward councillors and Mr Miliband, forced the mayor to delay the planned closures by 12 months, although the threat remains.

Alongside Sprotbrough, the other libraries under threat are Balby, Bawtry, Bessacarr, Carcroft, Denaby, Edenthorpe, Intake, Moorends, Rossington, Scawthorpe, Stainforth, Warmsworth and Wheatley.

Mr Miliband added: “These planned closures - rubberstamped by Doncaster’s mayor and his cabinet - are being proposed because cuts imposed by the Tory-led Government in Westminster are going too far, too fast. Libraries are at the heart of Doncaster’s communities, like any other town in the country, and they should not be taken away.”