Twenty-one libraries at risk in Northamptonshire

Twenty-one libraries at risk in Northamptonshire

Twenty-one libraries in Northamptonshire are at risk of becoming community managed as part of new proposals to make £10m worth of cuts.

Of the county's 36 libraries, 21 could become community-managed, while 15 would remain council-controlled, according to the BBC. The council is also considering closing the county's smaller libraries.

Campaigners have argued closing the servives could "devastate" communities, although the council said no decision has been made. lt will meet on Thursday (27th October) to discuss the proposals and the possibility of starting a 12-week consultation on the plans.

Sylvia Hughes, cabinet member for health and wellbeing, said: "We have to see what people have to say, we have to encourage everyone to take part and we have to listen to what is being said."

The libraries which could become community-run, or close, include Danesholme, Earls Barton, Wollaston, Abington and St James while Northampton Central Library, Corby Cube, Daventry Library and Kettering Library are among the larger venues which could remain open. The mobile library is also at risk of being closed.

Graham Croucher, from the Friends of St James Library, said: "Closing the library here will be devastating to this community. You can get your blue badge, your bus pass, everything you can get at this library. It's a safe haven and a keeper of the community."

Earlier this month, Northamptonshire council chief executive Paul Blantern resigned from his post after warning of the severe financial pressure the council was under. According to the Northampton Chronicle, at the current rate of supply Northamptonshire will have made £500 million of cuts in the decade between 2010 and 2020 to balance the books. Blantern was the former chair of the Libraries Taskforce.