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Sheffield library plans ‘flawed’ - claim

The Broomhill Library Action Group who are challenging the council's decision to close Broomhill Library were canvassing residents outside the community shops on Saturday

The Broomhill Library Action Group who are challenging the council's decision to close Broomhill Library were canvassing residents outside the community shops on Saturday

  • by Polly Rippon
 

Campaigners from a Sheffield library action group claim they have found flaws in the council’s plans to create ‘hub libraries’ and will be protesting at next week’s full council meeting.

The Broomhill Library Action Group – known as BLAG – is angry about plans to shut their library and say they have found inaccuracies in the council’s consultation relating to travel to the proposed hub libraries.

BLAG spokesman Hugh Cotton said the council had claimed all users would have a hub library within 30 minutes’ reach by public transport.

But the group estimates most people in the Broomhill Library catchment area would need to take two buses to get to Ecclesall or Hillsborough libraries from their homes – and journey times would be an hour each way.

Mr Cotton said: “This will hit particularly hard those with mobility issues, the elderly, and those with young children.”

The group claims the council’s consultation document has been ‘thrown together’

Mr Cotton said: “BLAG, like other campaign groups, are finding flaws of this kind throughout the council’s documentation, which seems to have been thrown together quickly despite the initial review starting in July 2011.

“The council should recognise the flaws across the consultation and halt this headlong rush into the dismantling of the library network now.”

There has been anger across Sheffield at the council’s plans to shut 16 of the city’s community libraries – leaving 11 open in the current form.

The authority is offering limited financial support to community groups wanting to volunteer to save the other branches.

But Sheffield Council says the move is necessary to save money in the wake of unprecedented budget cuts imposed by the coalition Government.

The consultation ends on Friday, January 10.

Have your say at https://www.sheffield.gov.uk/libraries/library-review.html

 

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