Two libraries safe as two more join hit list

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BALBY and Stainforth now seem set to lose their libraries under plans due to be outlined to Doncaster Council cabinet.

A report due to go before Mayor Peter Davies and other senior councillors on Friday includes an updated breakdown of libraries under threat - but both Conisbrough and Cantley have been removed from the hit list, as predicted by campaigners.

The report states the current 26 libraries will reduce to 12 core libraries provided by the council, and adds the ‘survivors’ have been chosen by considering the condition of the buildings, a fair geographical spread across the borough, and the funds available.

The libraries to remain are Armthorpe, Askern, Tickhill, Bentley, Doncaster Town Centre, Edlington, Hatfield, Mexborough, Thorne, Woodlands, Cantley and Conisbrough.

But the report adds: “To ensure the needs of all current users and communities are met, a further consultation exercise will now be undertaken to gauge the views of what the relevant communities would wish to have in their community.”

The newly updated list of libraries facing the axe is: Carcroft, Stainforth, Edenthorpe, Moorends, Scawthorpe, Wheatley, Warmsworth, Sprotbrough, Bessacarr, Denaby, Rossington, Bawtry, Balby and Intake.

Alternatives being proposed to the branches earmarked for closure are:

- Community-run libraries staffed by supervised volunteers

- Community-supported libraries run by the council but financially supported by the community

- Self-service un-staffed facilities in other village buildings

- Mobile provision

- Postal services via the internet

Stainforth ward councillor Norah Troops said the council should be looking at building up villages like Stainforth, rather than taking away their facilities.

She said: “My message to the cabinet is they should think before jumping into this.

“Think about the effect it will have on future generations. Libraries are an important asset.”

The plans to close branches are part of a bid to save £73 million from the council budget over a four-year period.

Mayor Peter Davies has blamed the current Government and the previous Labour administration for the need to make cuts.