Put plan to close libraries on hold

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Councillors have promised to fight to save Doncaster’s threatened libraries after a legal victory by campaigners fighting similar closures 150 miles away.

A total of 14 branch libraries across the borough are set to be axed because of cuts rubber-stamped by elected mayor Peter Davies.

Pressure from campaigners, supported by opposition councillors and Doncaster MPs, forced the Mayor to delay the planned closures by 12 months and offer voluntary groups the chance to run them.

Now he is being urged to “put on hold” the closure plans until the outcome of a judicial review into the closure of libraries in Gloucestershire, due in September, becomes clear.

Great North Road ward councillor Kevin Rodgers said: “In view of the High Court’s decision to grant a judicial review the council should put on hold any transfer of library buildings, stock or services.

“In these austere times Doncaster Council can ill afford a judicial review either financially or in the interests of its reputation.”

Mr Davies decided to close more than half of the borough’s 26 libraries in February. The decision was taken despite a petition signed by 14,000 people opposed to the plans and demonstrations outside the Mansion House and some of the under-threat branches.

Doncaster’s Labour leader Sandra Holland said: “Closing 14 libraries will have a deep impact on the quality of life of local people.

“I and my colleagues will fight these unnecessary and undesirable cuts every step of the way.”