A VILLAGE library is to close.
Kirklees Council’s Cabinet has decided to shut New Mill Library.
But a furious councillor has vowed to keep it open.
Clr Donald Firth, who lives in the village, said: “They are trying to take away something which New Mill holds dear. It’s a place where people socialise.
“There’s no way I will allow the library to close.”
The Holme Valley South Conservative said his ward had already suffered from post office closures. Clr Firth said: “The Government has already taken away post offices in Hinchliffe Mill and Wooldale – we can’t do with the council taking away the library in New Mill.
“We don’t want anything else taken away from us. We pay our way here in Holmfirth and we deserve a lot more than we’re getting.”
Clr Firth said he and his two fellow Conservative councillors for the area, Clr Ken Sims and Clr Nigel Patrick, would mobilise opposition to the plan. He said: “All three Holme Valley South councillors and the people of New Mill will put up a big fight to save the library.”
Clr Firth is also angry that he learned of the plan to close New Mill Library from a member of public.
He said: “No-one in the council even bothered to tell me about the plan. A member of the public told me on Monday that Kirklees was going to close the library and I then phoned a council officer who confirmed it.”
Clr Firth criticised the Labour-Lib Dem coalition Cabinet for planning to close the library on Holmfirth Road while pumping £30,000 in to libraries in Lepton and Kirkheaton.
He said: “They are investing money in libraries that are doing nothing – there’s barely anyone going to the one in Kirkheaton – yet the Cabinet wants to close New Mill Library.
“Kirkheaton is in Dalton ward which has two Lib Dem and one Labour councillor. Lepton is in Almondbury ward which has three Lib Dem councillors.”
Yesterday the council’s Cabinet member responsible for cultural services confirmed plans to shut the library.
Clr Christine Stanfield said: “New Mill Library has been earmarked for closure. No date has been set for the closure of the current library, but when this takes place the service to the village will be maintained using the mobile library.”
New Mill is the latest village in Kirklees to face the prospect of losing its library.
In 2007 the council proposed closing the historic library on Stocks Walk in Almondbury and opening a new branch elsewhere in the village. But councillors backed down from the plan to shut the library, built in 1904, after residents protested.
A separate plan to close Kirkheaton Library was also reversed last year after campaigning by Dalton Lib Dem Clr Roger Battye.