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County Council challenged to rethink Library Closure Plan - savings from cuts may have to be paid back to the Lottery

October 2, 2014 7:02 PM

Cllrs Mathew Hulbert and Michael Mullaney with the petitions to save Barwell Library

Cllr Michael Mullaney and the local Lib Dems are campaigning to save local libraries

Hinckley Liberal Democrat County Councillor Michael Mullaney has challenged the County's Conservative leadership to rethink plans that could see 37 Libraries in Leicesterhire, including eight in Hinckley and Bosworth, possibly close.

The County Council is asking fro volunteers to run these libraries but if volunteers can't be found they will be closed.

At the County Council meeting held on Wednesday Michael Mullaney asked the County Cabinet Member in charge of libraries to rethink the plans.

Michael Mullaney said "Libraries are an extremely important local community facility, to close them would be a really backward step.

"Here in Hinckley and Bosworth libraries in Barwell, Burbage, Ratby, Groby, Newbold Verdon, Markfield, Desford and Market Bosworth are threatened with closure.

"The whole plans do not make financial sense. The County Council expect to make £800,000 from the transfer or closure of these Libraries. However, one of the Libraries threatened with closure, Newbold Verdon, had a £781,402 grant from the Big Lottery Fund. If the County Council closes it they may have to pay back all or some of that money, making the closure programme pointless. It is worrying that the County Council still can't say how much they will have to pay back the Big Lottery Fund if they close Newbold Verdon Library".

Amongst the other libraries under threat is Barwell where Michael Mullaney and Barwell Lib Dem Councillor Mathew Hulbert collected hundreds of petitions to save that library

Cllr Mathew Hulbert (Lib Dem: Barwell) said "We will continue to fight for our local library to remain Council funded and staffed by professional librarians.

"The Tory run County Council should think again about the proposed cuts, which could see libraries having to close if volunteers aren't found to run them."