Residents bid for libraries’ survival

Residents filled Wollaston library on Saturday to campaign for its survival
Residents filled Wollaston library on Saturday to campaign for its survival

Residents filled Wollaston library to urge officials from Northamptonshire County Council not to close the facility as part of budget cuts.

Representatives from the county council including Grace Kempster, customer and library service manager, and Cllr Andre Gonzalez De Savage, also met residents at Finedon library earlier in the day on Saturday.

The libraries are two of eight earmarked for closure as part of council plans to save £68m in the next financial year. It needs to save £136m over the next four years.

Cllr Gonzalez De Savage said the biggest issue was the upfront requirement to save £68m in this year alone.

He said he was a “passionate library user” himself and told residents: “It really does pain me to bring forward cuts that take out this library and seven others.”

Vicki Maarman, of Francis Dickens Close, Wollaston, said: “We go to Rhymetime at the library and it’s really important for our children and it’s a place to meet other people in the village who have young children.”

Olivia Skipper, of York Road, said: “In a village there’s very little going on for young people – at the library they can do constructive things in their spare time.”

Maureen Wilson, of Francis Dickens Close, said she thought the council had already decided to shut the library. She said: “There’s a lot of people in this village, like mothers with more than one child and elderly people, who can’t make it to other libraries, and the bus service isn’t much good.

“They are cutting off a lifeline to a lot of people, people live for their books.”