Thousands in protest over library cuts

Belmont Councillor Eric Maven hands over a petition to Councillor Maria Plews at Durham County Hall, objecting to proposed cuts in the Belmont Library service, watched by some of the library supporters
Belmont Councillor Eric Maven hands over a petition to Councillor Maria Plews at Durham County Hall, objecting to proposed cuts in the Belmont Library service, watched by some of the library supporters
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A PETITION opposing cuts to library opening hours attracted more than 2,000 signatures.

Campaigners supporting Belmont library, in Durham City, want to preserve its present 43-hour week.

Durham County Council is looking to cut the hours to 20 as part of an overall plan to save money by reducing opening times for all libraries in the county.

Councillor Eric Mavin, chairman of the Carrville and Belmont Residents’ Association, said: “Belmont library is a highly successful library which issues 100,000 books a year and has 42,000 visitors.

“When deciding on the cut, the council has not taken into consideration the people in the area and the usage.

“Residents feel the community has been unfairly targeted.”

The council says savings have to be made, and the number borrowers from libraries is declining.

Coun Maria Plews, whose cabinet responsibilities include libraries, said: “I understand the concerns of Belmont residents and welcome their petition.”