Volunteers keen to run Doncaster libraries

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More than 130 volunteers have expressed interest in running some of Doncaster’s branch libraries

Doncaster Council has spent months consulting with residents over the future of libraries in the borough, as it is forced to reduce its budget due to massive cuts in central Government funding.

With 12 libraries already being successfully run by community groups, there is a huge appetite from local people to take control of their centres, with full and ongoing support from the library service, says the council.

The results of the consultation, which will go to the Council’s Cabinet next week, see proposals for eight more libraries to become community run.

These are Askern, Armthorpe, Bentley, Cantley, Conisbrough, Hatfield, Tickhill and Woodlands. It is recommended that four libraries should be retained as staffed hubs: Central Doncaster Library, Edlington, Mexborough and Thorne Library.

Coun Joe Blackham, Cabinet Member for Neighbourhoods at Doncaster Council, said: “We are determined to minimise the impact of the cuts on local residents where possible and I have always said that our libraries will not close if suitable alternative arrangements can be found.

“The extensive consultation included replies from more than 1,300 people and more than 130 residents have already come forward to express an interest in volunteering. Cabinet will carefully consider the outcome of the consultation and make a final decision on Friday, April 11.”

It has also been proposed that the mobile library service will be removed. The large majority of service users said they could use the library service in other, effective and efficient ways.