Thousands sign to save Sheffield libraries

Save Our Libraries protestors hand over a petition to Alistair Griggs outside Sheffield town Hall
Save Our Libraries protestors hand over a petition to Alistair Griggs outside Sheffield town Hall
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A PETITION signed by more than 10,000 residents to save some of Sheffield’s libraries from closure has been handed to council leaders.

Dozens of campaigners turned out on the steps of Sheffield Town Hall to back the Liberal Democrats’ bid to force a full council debate on cuts to library services next month.

Earlier this month, councillors voted to cut the service’s budget by £1.6m, which could see the closure of up to 14 of the city’s 28 libraries.

The petition is also supported by Deputy Prime Minister and Sheffield Hallam MP Nick Clegg.

Among those who turned out to see the petition handed in by Coun Shaffaq Mohammed was Ron Bell, of Mosborough, Sheffield.

Mr Bell, aged 55, said: “It’s important for the community and for young mums because a lot of people use libraries to meet up and discuss problems they may be having.

“It’s not just books. People can get access to computers too, which is a vital service.”

Gail Smith, 59, was there to show her support for Ecclesall library.

“I think it’s a disgrace they’re considering closing the libraries,” she said.

“It’s important we encourage children towards books and promote the interaction that comes from being out in libraries.”

Janet Atkinson, 69, said her local library at Woodseats provided an important social meeting place.

“I grew up with libraries and they offer all sorts of classes for young children,” she said.

“If they go then the council are removing something that is important to people.”

Peter and Marvis Butler were supporting Stannington library.

“Everyone I have spoken to in the area says they have signed the petition,” said Mavis, 68.

“Stannington is one of the biggest geographical areas.

“People don’t want to have to leave the locality to use a library,” added Peter, 71.

Coun Mohammed said: “The response from communities across Sheffield has been overwhelming, particularly to come here today on such short notice.”