Doncaster libraries funding cut agreed

Protest about library service changes Protesters opposed to the changes gathered outside the council meeting in Doncaster

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Council funding has been withdrawn from 14 of the 26 libraries in Doncaster.

Two libraries at Carcroft and Denaby will close on 1 November and volunteers are being sought to run 12 others as the council seeks to make savings.

However, Jill Johnson, a former head of library services in the town, said: "I think that in the long term these different kind of libraries will fail."

Mayor Peter Davies said: "I would argue that the libraries have not been working very well in the past."

The 26 libraries cost £5.26m a year to run, excluding the cost of maintenance.

Doncaster Council is currently trying to find savings of £80m over four years, as part of the cuts required by central government.

'Super-libraries'

During a heated council meeting on Wednesday, Mayor Davies said there was no other choice but to remove funding from the 14 libraries.

He said that would leave the council to focus its resources on 12 "super-libraries".

"Our policy now of making these 12 super-libraries more attractive and more pleasing for people to visit may well restore people's faith in libraries and, who knows, libraries in Doncaster may enjoy a renaissance."

Under the proposals Balby, Bawtry, Bessacarr, Edenthorpe, Intake, Moorends, Rossington, Scawthorpe, Sprotbrough, Stainforth, Warmsworth and Wheatley could all be community-led enterprises.

Ms Johnson, who was among a group of campaigners opposed to the library shake-up, said: "I think it is a very sad day, especially for these communities that are involved.

"I hope they are successful but my fear is that once the first flush of enthusiasm has worn off two or three years down the line that, in fact, they are not going to be sustainable."

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