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Sheffield library cuts are ‘a real kick in the teeth’

Protesters' demonstration outside Sheffield Town Hall over libraries ahead of scrutiny meeting.

Protesters' demonstration outside Sheffield Town Hall over libraries ahead of scrutiny meeting.

The Deputy Prime Minister has described Sheffield’s library cuts as a ‘kick in the teeth’.

Nick Clegg’s comments come after a decision to press ahead with controversial proposals which will reduce the number of council-run libraries from 28 to 12.

Around 75 members of staff are also set to be axed after Sheffield Council’s cabinet approved the plans.

Sheffield Hallam MP Mr Clegg had urged leaders to go back to the drawing board.

He said: “The vote is a real kick in the teeth for the many thousands who signed petitions against the plan to close local libraries.

“But what makes things even worse is that many people feel minds were made up in the town hall long before any consultation began.

“I have been hugely impressed to see dozens of people rally around their local library and get involved with campaign groups, particularly in the west of the city where closures have been disproportionately targeted.

“These groups have submitted excellent business plans and libraries would stay open while allowing the council to still make savings in the service.

“All they are asking for is a fair deal on the level of ongoing support they would receive.

“I would urge Labour councillors to spend local taxpayers money on supporting these groups rather than spending millions on consultants and council office makeovers.

“To most people that would make sense, but I fear Labour councillors politicking is getting in the way of making the best decision for Sheffield. However, it’s not too late to save our libraries so I’ll be carrying on the fight and I know local residents won’t give up either.”

n Letters: Page 12

 

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