Lincolnshire County Council, who run local library services, have to make £125 million of savings. Already nearly £90 million has been achieved but a further £35 million has to be found in the next two years. The Library Service, which current has a budget in excess of £6 million is expected contribute by saving around £1.9 million on its current budget. It is proposed that a number of local libraries, including the one in Nettleham, be run by teams of volunteers.
“I had a moment to speak and tried to state the needs of all parts of the community, and how strongly people feel about saving our library. Councillor Jackie Brockway tried to change the [County Council’s] decision into an opportunity to get something that works better for us. Giles McNeill offered us his support, and I believe that all of the Parish Councillors were unhappy with the idea of losing the library.
“[The Parish Council] decided to bring the subject up for proper full discussion at the next meeting in July. At that point we can table questions and be a part of the discussion. They also decided to hold a special public meeting on the library closure in early September.”
“I want to see our library remain open and if that means looking at a range of different options to do that, then we must.
“Local Council’s face a difficult time – on the one hand demand for services continues to increase, whilst on the other the money local authorities receive from central government is reducing. This is putting enormous pressure on politicians to square the circle and do as much as possible with constrained resources.
“I am really proud that local residents are taking the initiative to fight to retain a library in Nettleham. I have offered my support to the campaign to ‘Save Nettleham Library’ and am prepared to put my money where my mouth is, so to speak, and offer a portion of my Councillor Initiative Fund monies to help any local community group look into the question of taking on running Nettleham Library.
“The information age presents great challenges to the traditional model of a library – but potentially it provides great opportunity for local people to recast a local service into more suitable provision, dynamic and reactive to local needs.”