Doncaster to hand 12 libraries to volunteers

Doncaster council has announced plans to hand 12 libraries over to volunteer-running, some as early as November, the BBC reports.

The development, which comes after a year's moratorium on library cuts, comes despite a vigorous local protest campaign.

Bawtry, Intake, Warmsworth, Balby, Bessacarr, Edenthorpe, Wheatley, Sprotbrough, Moorends, Rossington, Stainforth and Scawforth libraries will all be turned over to community running, with some set to move from their existing library buildings.

Peter Davies, the Mayor of Doncaster, said "current financial constraints" meant the libraries "cannot all continue in their current form". But Lauren Smith, campaigner for Save Doncaster Libraries, described herself as "disgusted" by the proposals, saying: "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 suprised if it succeeded."

The council is looking for savings of £80m over four years. It puts the cost of Doncaster's 26 libraries at £5.26m a year plus maintenance.