A DEBATE will be held next week on the future of Sheffield libraries after a petition with more than 10,000 names was handed in, objecting to any closures.
Opposition Liberal Democrats teamed up with community activists for the protest. Any petition with more than 5,000 name triggers a debate in full council, and the next is on Wednesday.
Local Lib Dem leader Shaffaq Mohammed said: “The response from communities across Sheffield has been overwhelming. Local people know difficult decisions need to be taken but that does not excuse Labour’s plan to take an axe to our local libraries.
“We’ve put forward a number of sensible suggestions which would allow the council to avoid the closure of a single library. Unfortunately, these have been rejected by Labour bosses who are determined to protect their own pet projects, like swanky makeovers for Town Hall offices.”
About half the city’s 27 public libraries could close this year, unless community groups and social enterprises step in and help to run them. A consultation programme ends on April 8.
The ruling Labour group says it has little option in the face of £50m cuts to its overall budget.