York & North Yorkshire

Hunmanby library to close after volunteer plan fails

A plan for volunteers to run a village library appears to have failed after a co-ordinator could not be found.

North Yorkshire County Council said it had no choice but to close Hunmanby library in 2012 and replace it with a mobile service.

A local borough councillor, Nick Harvey, described the decision as "bad news" for the community.

The council said a co-ordinator was essential to ensuring volunteers would be able to run the library effectively.

Cuts to library services are part of an attempt by the Conservative-run local authority to cut almost £70m from its budget.

'Stealing opportunities'

As part of the saving plan, the council said eight local libraries would close if volunteers could not be found to run them.

All but Hunmanby have found a workable solution.

Conservative councillor John Blackburn, who represents the area on the county council, said there was still time for discussions to take place if someone came forward but admitted time was now "tight".

He said: "We want very much to be able to help people in Hunmanby retain their highly-valued local library and we will do everything we can to assist."

But Nick Harvey, a Green councillor representing Hunmanby on Scarborough Borough Council, said the decision was a mistake.

He said: "We are stealing learning opportunities from our young people. Their parents are already facing tough times, our young people will lose out on opportunities for getting on in life if Hunmanby library is allowed to close."

The library is expected to shut in March next year.

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