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Video: Shadow minister campaigns against library closure in Lincoln

“The decision of Lincolnshire County Council to cut your library service by three quarters is a total disgrace,” said Helen Goodman MP during a visit in Lincoln on April 15.

The Shadow Minister for Libraries was outside Ermine library, one of the 30 libraries Lincolnshire County Council is threatening to close if they cannot find volunteers to run it.

She met with local library users and supporters of Save Lincolnshire Libraries after they approached her during their visit to the House of Commons last week.

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The Ermine library in Lincoln. Photo: Steve Smailes for The Lincolnite
The Ermine library in Lincoln. Photo: Steve Smailes for The Lincolnite

Ermine Library serves a catchment area of 22,000 people and is currently open 27 hours a week, with three library staff assisted by volunteers.

The County Council is planning to cut its opening hours by 40% (just 16 hours a week) effective from May 2014, and to stop staffing it altogether from April 2015.

Dozens of campaigners gathered outside Ermine library to greet the Shadow Minister for Libraries in her Lincoln visit. Photo: Steve Smailes for The Lincolnite
Dozens of campaigners gathered outside Ermine library to greet the Shadow Minister for Libraries in her Lincoln visit. Photo: Steve Smailes for The Lincolnite

Councillor Judy Renshaw, the County Councillor for the Ermine area, added: “I am delighted that Helen Goodman has taken up our invitation to come and meet us at Ermine Library on Tuesday. What the County Council are planning to do at Ermine is outrageous.

“They are closing our library on Mondays, reducing hours on other days and closing it on Friday mornings.

“The County Council needs to stop undermining Ermine Library and start understanding the vital part it plays in our community.”

Councillor Nick Worth, Executive Member for Libraries, said: “It’s important the County Council plays its part in getting the national finances back in order.

“Unlike our Labour colleagues, we’re not prepared to bury our heads in the sand and ignore the challenges we face.

“Overall, the authority has to save £200 million and all services, including the library service, have to take their share of those savings.

“However, thanks to the support of local communities, it now looks like that we’ll end up with more libraries than we have now – while also contributing to those substantial savings.

“It’s a win-win situation,” he said.