Major library cutbacks for Wakefield

Close to half of Wakefield district's 26 libraries face closure by March next year unless community groups take them over, the Yorkshire Evening Post has reported.

Twelve libraries face closure unless viable alternatives for their management are lodged with the council by 31st October. As of yesterday (18th July) just four community groups had expressed an interest in taking over a library.

The move is part of a plan to save £800,000 a year in what is described as "the biggest shake-up of the service for 30 years".

The libraries under threat are at Ackworth, Altofts, Balne Lane Community Centre at Wakefield, Havercroct, Kinsley, Kettlethorpe, Middlestown, Outwood, South Kirkby, South Pontefract, Upton and Walton.

The council has said it will invest £1m to improve its mobile library service and the 14 libraries it will continue to operate. Lisa Dodd, the council's service director for culture and sport, said: "We will be saving money as well as providing a better service."