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Campaigns on libraries facing axe hotting up

Walsall | News | Published:

Defiant campaigners today pledged "you won't take our libraries" as crusades against their closure gathered momentum.

Defiant campaigners today pledged "you won't take our libraries" as crusades against their closure gathered momentum.

The axe is hovering over six of Walsall's 16 libraries as the council battles to save £65 million over three years.

A review will take place to determine which branches should close or be relinquished of local authority control. But users of some of the smaller libraries, who feel theirs could be in line for the chop, have vowed to show why they are so important and should remain open.

Charlotte-Rose Stringer, aged 11, launched a campaign and has gathered 300 signatures from people wanting to protect Pheasey Park Farm library.

She and her sister, Bethany-Mae, eight, set up a campaign group on Facebook, which now has 200 members.

Eldest-of-five Charlotte, of Morland Road, Pheasey, who attends Barr Beacon Language College, said: "The library is not just a library, it's a really nice place to go with activities and the internet."

She added: "We don't have anything else in the area like it."

Their father, Mick, 39, a BT engineer, said: "They all use the library and are absolutely gutted that something might happen to it."

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Meanwhile, Willenhall Councillor Ian Shires has launched a campaign to save New Invention Library in Lichfield Road, Willenhall.

He said: "The leader of the council has said that the libraries in the district centres will be safe, so it's obvious there's a question mark over the others."

Library closures are expected to save £180,000, but council chiefs will not reveal the names of the libraries due to close until a full review has been carried out.

  • Campaigners have started an e-petition asking Walsall Council to reconsider the proposal to close six public libraries. You can find it here.

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