Campaigners vow to fight on as Sunderland library closures approach

Demonstration about the closure of Sunderland Libraries outside Southwick Library on Wednesday night.
Demonstration about the closure of Sunderland Libraries outside Southwick Library on Wednesday night.
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ANGRY campaigners have vowed to fight on against library closures.

About 40 protesters from Hands Off Sunderland Libraries gathered yesterday, still angry at Sunderland City Council’s decision to close nine branches.

While the authority argues the decision is needed to modernise the service and save £850,000, opponents say the process has been undemocratic and is depriving Wearsiders of treasured facilities. Mum Vicki Hodgson was at the Southwick Library demonstration with daughters Eva, five, and six-year-old Asia.

The 28-year-old, of Southwick, said: “I have been a regular user of this library for years. It was here when I was a kid, and I want it to be here for my daughters.

“This place is ideal. It is great when the weather is bad, the staff are really nice and it’s free to go into.”

Andrew Clifford, who helped organise the protest, said: “Sunderland City Council say we need to move on and they need to modernise the service, but the amount they are thinking of spending on things like e-books is just not enough.

“What is going to happen to all these library buildings? They will either be demolished or just sit empty.

“This is not a fight that is over – we will keep going until Sunderland City Council admit they have made a mistake.“