Will the council listen?

This letter was sent by a Moorends resident to The Star back in January. It makes such good points that are still so relevant, we thought it was worth sharing during the time we’re waiting to hear the outcome of the extended consultation period (the cabinet meeting that was scheduled to discuss this was cancelled – it is unclear why). The writer gives excellent reasons as to why library branches are still very necessary and cannot be adequately replaced with mobiles, and how the idea of saving money by introducing shared services is irrelevant in this case because it already is one, but is still being closed.

Is Moorends to be the forgotten village on the border of South and East Yorkshire?

Moorends, near Doncaster, has enjoyed its own library facilities since 1937 and after reading the announcement in the press, which stated that Moorends library was one of the libraries to close, I’m very disappointed in Doncaster council.

This library is a typical village library and has close links with the children’s centre. Many young and aged residents use the library to borrow books and audio material and to use reference material, IT equipment and for local information and advice. The assistants are very helpful. There are class visits and local community groups meet here, many believe it is the heart of the community and almost as important an asset as local schools.

Alternatives that have been suggested, such as self-service facilities in other public and private buildings, obviously do not include Moorends as the library is already situated in The Hedgerows Children’s Centre. A mobile library will be unable to provide computers or customer services on a daily basis. The borrowing of books etc will not be very convenient either; the service will probably not be used and, in time, this will also be withdrawn, if it’s ever started.

Using Thorne library is not an option in most cases as transport is needed to get there. Therefore, depriving older people, sometimes unable to carry books any distance and children, unable to travel unsupervised.

The Carnegie Free Library was introduced so there could be free, convenient use of a library. This is everyone’s right.

I understand that all councils have to make cut backs due to the economic state of the country. But denying an already deprived village of the one amenity it has managed to hang on to during decades of bad times, will be devastating. No ‘real’ money has been spent on the village for decades although it is one of the borough’s highest rated council tax areas.

The council has not fulfilled its obligations to the public by failing to inform them within a reasonable length of time of their intention to close the libraries specified in the media. I can only think that this way they assume there will not be enough time for people to object and the closures will carry on regardless of how the public feel.

Viv Bothamley

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