Lincolnshire libraries: Committee formed to tackle closure plans
A committee has been set up in West Lindsey to form an official response to Lincolnshire County Council's plans to close 32 libraries.
The authority announced the proposals in June as it aims to cut £2 million from its budget.
The council's executive will make a final decision in December. If given the go ahead, 170 jobs will be lost.
West Lindsey District Council this week set up a sub committee which will now produce a formal response to the county council's plans.
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If the plans are given the green light, nine static libraries will be reduced to two in West Lindsey.
During a full meeting of the Conservative-led authority on Monday evening, councillors debated the issue for more than half an hour.
Liberal Democrat councillor David Cotton said: "Leader of Lincolnshire County Council Martin Hill said the consultation would be listened to and we have to hold him to account on that. We absolutely must make sure it is listened to."
Conservative councillor Giles McNeil said: "These proposals do not represent the views of people in our towns.
"And the consultation period has only been a very short window of opportunity for people. It is very one-sided."
West Lindsey District Council has until September 30 to make its formal response.
Four petitions, with more than 16,000 signatures, will be handed into Lincolnshire County Council on Friday, September 13. The petitions have gathered signatures from Lincoln Boultham Library, Deeping Library, Sutton-on-Sea Library and Save Lincolnshire Libraries.
Meanwhile, Age UK says it is expecting more demand on its services if some of Lincolnshire's libraries close.
The charity fears an increase in older people suffering from loneliness, because they won't be able to socialise at their local libraries.
It means demand for Age UK services such as phone befriending and support groups could go up.
Age UK's Park Street centre already sees around 1,800 customers per week.
Samantha Hotson, volunteer co-ordinator, said the charity could see an increase in demand.
"I think a lot of people in the centre come in for the social aspect, for the services we offer and the classes we offer.
"I think that providing those services to people in Lincolnshire will hopefully encourage them to not be lonely and isolated."
A public meeting into the future of Nettleham Library took place in the village on Wednesday, September 11.
To see what was said, log on to: www.lincolnshire echo.co.uk