CAMPAIGNERS have been given a last chance to save their village library.
New Mill Library is due to close its doors for the last time at the end of next month.
But yesterday councillors agreed to look again at the controversial decision.
Clr Donald Firth, who has campaigned against the library’s closure, welcomed the decision. He said: “I hope it will stay open.”
Last month Kirklees Council’s Labour / Lib Dem cabinet announced that the Holmfirth Road venue would close to save money.
But yesterday the council’s overview and scrutiny management committee agreed to look at how that decision was made. The committee could recommend that cabinet reverse the closure.
Committee chairman Clr Robert Iredale said: “We’re going to review the procedure to make sure all the information used was correct. For the good of the people of New Mill we want to make sure everything was done correctly.”
The four-strong committee will meet again in two weeks to interview Kirklees library officers and the three councillors who represent New Mill.
Clr Iredale said: “We’re going to move quickly because the library is supposed to close at the end of May. We may ask for an extension because it would be unfortunate if the library closed before we’ve deliberated.”
Clr Firth has collected 1,000 signatures to a petition against the closure.
The Holme Valley South Conservative said the library is well-used, with 12,285 visitors in 2008-09, up from 11,696 the year before.
Clr Firth, who lives in New Mill, said: “The library is only open three-and-a-half days a week, but it should be open four or even five days a week, that would bring more people in.
“There’s nothing wrong with the library, it’s doing as well as can be expected. There’s no justification for closing the library.”
Clr Firth hopes the scrutiny committee will urge cabinet to reverse the closure.
He said: “I came to the meeting with 20 or 30 people from the village and there’s wonderful support from the people of New Mill for keeping the library open and I think we’ve got the support of the scrutiny committee as well. But unfortunately they can’t decide yay or nay.”
Clr Firth added he was determined to keep the library open.
He said: “If the cabinet decide to close the library, I will fight against it until we get some common sense.”