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Villagers fighting to keep library open

A petition signed by nearly 1,300 people has been handed to County Hall bosses in an attempt to stop the closure of Fleckney Library

A petition signed by nearly 1,300 people has been handed to County Hall bosses in an attempt to stop the closure of Fleckney Library

 

A petition signed by nearly 1,300 people has been handed to County Hall bosses in an attempt to stop the closure of Fleckney Library.

The library in School Street is one of three in the district and 36 across the county that could be closed unless volunteers come forward to run them for free. The other two in the area facing the axe are Kibworth and Great Glen.

County Hall wants to cut £800,000 a year from its £5.6m libraries budget.

The Fleckney petition signed by 1,268 people and handed in this month has been backed by Fleckney C of E Primary School head teacher of Tim Leah and chairman of governors Linda Marshall.

In a letter to Leicestershire County Council, they said: “We value the library as a huge learning resource and an essential way to instil a love of books and reading in children.

“If that early opportunity is missed, there are far-reaching consequences in children’s lives and their capacity for learning.”

Governors and staff say they are deeply concerned about the impact the closure could have on children, with 442 young people regularly borrowing from the library or using its internet services for homework.

More than 100 residents attended a consultation event about the library’s future on June 17, where they aired their concerns about axing the “community’s hub”.

The library also hosts community groups, including Fleckney History Group, while providing a range of services for vulnerable groups, including Age Concern and a Sure Start Children’s Centre.

Pupils have written letters and sent drawings of the library to council chiefs, with one stating: “The library is somewhere that my mum and I go to share books and have some time together, which is really special.”

If County Hall goes ahead with the closure, the library would be replaced with a weekly mobile service.

A county council spokesman said: “We welcome all the views we received during the libraries consultation which ended on July 7.

“We have received more than 2,000 responses and around 1,400 people attended a series of meetings at the libraries.

“All of the responses will now be analysed and a report will be prepared for the council’s cabinet to consider later in the year.”

 

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