Villagers hand in 7,800 name petition in library closure threat protest
Villagers from one of the 33 Lincolnshire communities threated with a library closure handed in a 7,800-name protest petition this morning.
They made the 100-mile round trip from Deeping St James in the south of the county to present it to officials at county council headquarters in Lincoln.
'Save Deepings Library' organisers Andrew and Julie Bowell managed to get the signature of local Conservative MP John Hayes in support of their campaign.
And they were accompanied by Labour county councillor Phil Dilks - who was pictured on August 6 with county council leader Martin Hill signing the petition - when they presented the document to Rachel Wilson, democratic services officer at the Tory-controlled authority.
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"I'm accepting this petition today and it will be dealt with in accordance with our constitution," Miss Wilson said.
More petitions are expected to be handed in before a debate on the controversial libraries closure programme takes place at the full council meeting in Lincoln on Friday, September 13.
"The fact is that The Deepings population of 13,400 is bigger than FIVE of the 15 areas which are scheduled to keep keep their libraries," Councillor Dilks said.
"I'm proud that the whole community of The Deepings is speaking with one voice, telling the county council that their plan is totally flawed and should be withdrawn."
A 'Save Deepings Library' public meeting has been called for Tuesday, September 10 at 7.30pm at Deepings School Conference Centre, in Park Road.
Mrs Bowell, 56, said: "We've been door-to-door, outside schools and had petitions in the shops."
Retired bank official Mr Bowell, 57, said: "The library was given to the village as a bequest and everyone wants to keep it just as it is."