Concerns at library changes

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A SKEGNESS councillor has vowed he will ‘lock himself to the railings’ of the town’s library, if proposed changes to services threaten its future.

Coun Mark Smith made the pledge at the latest Skegness Town Council meeting in response to concerns raised about cost saving measures which could see libraries run by volunteers in premises shared with other businesses, such as supermarkets or pharmacies.

Speaking in the public session of Wednesday’s meeting, Labour Party branch chairman Brenda Futers said: “I’m really concerned about what may be happening to our libraries.

“Lincolnshire County Council is trying to cut £2million from its library budget. What I want to know is are there any councillors who can advise on any meetings taking place?”

Coun Smith, who is also a county councillor, assured Mrs Futers that the proposals were not about closing libraries and, in fact, many of the towns in which changes had already been implemented had seen an increase to opening hours.

He also explained that there would be a meeting taking place today (Wednesday) and that he would be ‘lobbying to make sure our views are known’.

Mrs Futers, who remained concerned about the impact such changes could have on Skegness Library, has since said she will attend the meeting to keep abreast with developments.

In partnership with Skegness author William Hussey, they have created a document, outlining the perceived problems the changes would bring about.

One such concern centres on whether volunteers have the skills and training to deal with challenges posed by unruly customers.

That point was reiterated by John Byford, who also spoke in the public session to say he was disgusted by the bad language he encountered during a recent visit.