Sheffield & South Yorkshire

Doncaster Council plans to transfer 12 libraries

Twelve libraries in Doncaster could be run by community groups if plans are approved by Doncaster Council.

The council carried out a public consultation earlier this year gathering feedback from more than 7,000 people.

Doncaster Council have drawn a series of recommendations which will be proposed to the cabinet next Wednesday.

The Mayor of Doncaster said the council had "worked hard to find alternative solutions".

Under the proposals Bawtry, Intake and Warmsworth library are expected to continue as community-led enterprises within the existing buildings.

'Difficult financial times'

Balby, Bessacarr, Edenthorpe, Wheatley and Sprotbrough will be operated along the same lines but run from different locations.

Four libraries - Moorends, Rossington, Stainforth and Scawthorpe - would community-led self-service operations.

An enhanced mobile and outreach service could be provided to Carcroft and Denaby in November if plans are approved.

The Mayor Peter Davies said: "In these difficult financial times we have worked hard to find alternative solutions to ensure we can still deliver the library services our communities need.

"No-one ever talked about closing libraries but current financial constraints mean that they cannot all continue in their current form."

Lauren Smith, Campaigner for Save Doncaster Libraries said she was "disgusted" by the proposals.

"I don't want to sound cynical or negative but I don't think it will work," said Ms Smith.

"Doncaster is in no position to start having volunteer run libraries. It doesn't have the capacity. It doesn't have the staff structure existing to support that so I'd be very surprised if it succeeded."

The report, to be discussed next week, concludes that only 12% of the borough use the service on a regular basis.

The 26 libraries cost £5.26m a year which excludes the cost of maintenance.

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

If the plans are approved the proposed changes could be introduced as soon as November.

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