Major library cutbacks planned in Doncaster

Major library cutbacks planned in Doncaster

Doncaster’s council has put forward cost-cutting plans which could leave just four out of 20 libraries in the borough council-run, with the remaining 16 being run by volunteers.

The council estimates that transferring eight libraries - in Armthorpe, Askern, Bentley, Cantley, Conisbrough, Hatfield, Tickhill and Woodlands - to volunteer management will save around £800,000, the Doncaster Free Press has reported.

These would be in addition to 12 across the borough which are already community-run.

Plans have also been announced to stop Doncaster’s mobile library service in 2014/15.

Lynne Coppendale, campaigner for Save Doncaster Libraries, told the Doncaster Free Press: “We already know that as a borough Doncaster has below-average levels of literacy and this will only get worse now even more libraries are going to lose their trained staff.

“My local library in Wheatley is run by volunteers, and is open only 11 hours a week.

“What are people who depend on those libraries going to do now? Lots of people have to use the libraries to look for jobs or they get their benefits sanctioned. Those people can’t afford to be paying to travel across Doncaster to get to another library.”

In 2012 library campaigners in Doncaster lost their fight to re-open two libraries shut by the-then mayor Peter Davies.