Library closure: Service will suffer

Your excellent report on the presentation by the Botton Campaign on March 25 (Whitby Gazette, March 27) at the Yorkshire Coast and Moors Committee held at Falsgrave Community Centre concentrated - understandably - on one of the two petitions before the North Yorkshire County Council’s councillors from Whitby right down the coast through Scarborough to Filey and inland.

I refer of course to the Botton Campaign whose concerns reach from the Esk Valley down to Ryedale (Malton).

Much other business was put before the committee, including the petition for Whitby Library and its staff, devised and pushed forward by Kath Chadwick and her team, supported by another team from the wider North Yorkshire library campaign: The Whitby motion, presented in the library caption as ‘Thousands sign petitions to save radical library cuts’.

‘Against the changes/cutbacks and proposed cutback of professional staff at Whitby Library’, I was honoured to be asked to speak for this petition and to listen to the ensuing debate by the county councillors, as well as the response of the Assistant Director of Library and Community Services.

The issues brought before the committee are mirrored across all seven districts of North Yorkshire County Council:

•The HQ library in each district will not be a ‘super library’ (as one county councillor described Scarborough’s future role);

•Staffing will be severely cut everywhere;

•The ‘hybrid’ libraries planned for Whitby, Filey, Pickering, Knaresborough and Ripon and the rest will be token affairs;

•Libraries will be replaced by ‘rooms with books’.

Not good enough for Whitby or North Yorkshire.

John Dean,

Save North Yorkshire Libraries Campaign