Boy, 9, makes speech to Northamptonshire County Council pleading for his library to stay open

Nick and Elliot Cartwright (right) prepare to address the county council cabinet
Nick and Elliot Cartwright (right) prepare to address the county council cabinet
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A nine-year-old Northamptonshire boy has pleaded to Northamptonshire County Council to keep his local library open because it is "very important to people".

Elliot Cartwright, from Thrapston, was speaking at today's county council cabinet meeting where the start of the public consultation into the 2018-19 draft budget was announced.

Elliot's father Nick also addressed the meeting and he explained how his son had researched the library's closure himself before gathering 100 signatures for his petition which was handed to cabinet members.

"I’m sad about my library being closed," said Elliot.

“Nearly everybody in my school wants to keep the library open and not because they like it, but because it’s important to them.

“Lots of them like doing challenges, such as the summer reading challenge, and it’s a good place to get together and they can do the homework club.

“It’s also very important for some people because some people don’t have books and it’s the only place that they can read and get access to the internet.

“It’s also where the local Sure Start centre is based where people who can’t look after their kids get help and it’s important to many parents of young children.

“I just want it to stay open because it’s very important to some people.”

Dad Nick then addressed the cabinet and explained he was expecting to be at Elliot’s school’s Christmas lunch, but instead his son had “dragged me here” because he was desperate to talk to the council and hand in his petition.

“As you can see he’s articulate and he’s brilliant,” said Nick.

“He’s nine years old and for the first five years it was me and him on our own, and he’s only articulate and brilliant because there was a Sure Start centre, because there was a library.

“He researched this himself. He got a leaflet at school about county closures, he didn’t know whether or not saving the library was a good thing.

“He went to the library, he read about it, he looked at it, he saw what was going on and he made his own decision.

“That’s why he’s registered to speak and why I’m here.”