Communities are already rallying round to save their local libraries.

It comes after Kirklees Council announced drastic options to reduce the library budget from £6.3m to £2.8m by 2017.

Option one could see only Huddersfield and Dewsbury libraries remain in the council’s hands plus a home delivery service for the housebound.

Option two will add community hubs to option one, but requires the council to make cuts elsewhere to find an extra £1.4m.

A meeting has already been set to save Golcar Library.

Clr Hilary Richards, Golcar Labour, said: “I am deeply saddened by the threat to library service because of the ongoing budget cuts.

“If you live in Golcar or use Golcar Library, I invite you to come to the library on Monday, July 28 at 6.30pm to discuss what we can do to save the library.

“I have asked Clr Graham Turner to share his experience at the meeting. He is involved in the development of the community-led Denby Dale library. I have also asked the Kirklees’ Chief Librarian, Carol Stump, to attend to answer questions.

“Golcar’s library is a precious element of the village so do come along to find out if there is the will to make a library service work in Golcar.”

Councillors are considering the options before a formal public consultation, however the council wants public views fed back via local councillors.

Conservative leader Clr Robert Light said: “Nobody has come to us with serious ideas of how we, the council, can do it differently, it’s all about how others can do it for us differently.

“I think we need to explore the idea of hubs, bringing council services together with libraries instead of sleepwalking into a situation where we end up with one in Dewsbury and the other in Huddersfield.”

Clr Andrew Marchington, Lib Dem deputy, said: “I am concerned about our librarians and library staff, I want to know what will happen to them, what support they will be able to give communities and what is to come of their jobs.

 

“If libraries are going we need to look at where the library services could move to, whether community groups or partnerships organisations may be able to assist.”

He was told many of the customer-facing staff were not librarians. Option one would see 30 staff working in both Huddersfield and Dewsbury librarians, plus 12 librarians and two development-librarians, however 100 staff would lose their jobs overall; 60 jobs would go with option two.

Clr Andrew Cooper, Green Party and Valley Independent leader, said: “Some places with stronger community organisations are able to step up to the plate while in others are going to need to work in partnership with the council. Then there’s the option for parish councils, some businesses and schools might want to get involved.

“Different solutions are needed and it should be the job of local councillors to facilitate the arrangements and help bring a positive outcome.”

Clr Cathy Scott, Labour Cabinet member for Place said: “It has to be about partnership working, schools have library services, can we look at what facilities they have? There are many things we are going to have to do differently, this is one of them.”

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