Sheffield approves major library cuts

Sheffield approves major library cuts

Sheffield City Council has approved plans to slash its library funding and leave only 12 of its 27 libraries under council control.

Even those 12 libraries will have reduced staff levels and opening hours.

Funding has been made available to help another 10 be run by volunteer groups for the next three years, while the remainder will be "co-delivered" by the council and community groups.

The decision was made despite last ditch protests from campaign groups in the city, with Save Sheffield Libraries holding a series of demonstrations at Sheffield Town Hall.

Meanwhile in Lincolnshire, where the local authority has approved plans to turn 30 of its 45 libraries over to volunteers, a former director at Lincolnshire County Council has claimed the plans are "unlawful" and asked the government to intervene.

Maurice Nauta, who was also a senior manager in the library service between 1988 and 2002, has written to culture secretary Maria Miller requesting an urgent inquiry into the situation. He warned that he feared the proposals "will not only destroy the library service in Lincolnshire, but damage the sense of community, hope and democracy across the whole of the countries second largest county."

Campaigners have already started proceedings for a judicial review in the county.