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Campaigners rally over library cuts

Malcolm Haigh and Susan White outside Batley Library with protest petition forms last year.

Malcolm Haigh and Susan White outside Batley Library with protest petition forms last year.

A 7,400 signature-strong petition against the closure of Batley’s iconic library building has been revived.

It comes after Kirklees Council revealed it was considering a “drastic” option to close all but two libraries in North Kirklees as a cost-cutting measure.

Batley History Group launched the petition last January after rumours first surfaced the building was to be sold off and the service moved to the town hall.

Chairman Malcolm Haigh accused the council of trying to “kill of Batley”.

“It is important that Batley Library remains open for a great many reasons” he said.

“Not only is it a great source of literature and learning but it helps to provide education and opportunities for children and adults alike.

“It provides vital research sources, art appreciation and is the home of some form of community connection nearly every day of the week.”

The council sketched out its ideas at a policy committee meeting last week.

The most drastic option would involve closing all libraries in Kirklees except for Huddersfield and Dewsbury.

A second option would include ‘town hub libraries’ remaining open but with reduced services if more investment was granted.

Mr Haigh urged residents to contact councillors and sign the opposing petition.

“We have already seen the damage that these decisions have had on town centre but if the library was also to close the all-round impact could be catastrophic,” he said.

Visit epetition.kirklees.public-i.tv/epetition_core/community/petition/2154.

See pages 12-13 for full story.

 

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