Libraries hit list ruling

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CAMPAIGNERS fighting plans to close 14 Doncaster libraries were due to present their 10,000-name petition to Doncaster Council bosses today.

Mayor Peter Davies’ cabinet will meet at the Mansion House to decide on proposals which have sparked protests from residents concerned about losing local branches.

Pressure group Save Doncaster Libraries wanted to collect 10,000 names on a petition in a bid to force a public debate on the plans.

Campaign spokeswoman Lauren Smith said: “We need to have a final count up but we are certainly around the 10,000 mark in terms of the names we now have on the petition.”

The plans are part of a bid to cut £73 million from the council budget over four years.

Mr Davies has blamed the Government and the previous Labour administration for the need to make cuts.

MP Caroline Flint has written to Mr Davies asking him to explain the criteria for closures and what alternatives have been looked at.

Around 170 people turned out for a meeting attended by Mr Davies at the Phoenix Theatre, Bawtry, to discuss the library plans.

The audience dismissed the idea Bawtry residents could use Tickhill library, which was among those remaining open, because travelling to Tickhill by public transport involved a round trip of 36 miles on four different bus routes.

Council officer Julie Grant said closure of the library building in Bawtry would not necessarily mean the end of library services in Bawtry.

She called on the community to help by coming together to find ways of providing an acceptable alternative to the current library facility.

Mr Davies said the Bawtry library building would not be put up for sale in the foreseeable future.

He did not want to cut libraries and the way forward was to work with the community.