Hull-born actress Maureen Lipman joins fight to save Anlaby Park Library
HULL-born actress Maureen Lipman has given her support for a campaign to save a closure-threatened library in the city.
Anlaby Park Library has been earmarked for closure under budget proposals put forward by Hull City Council's ruling Labour group.
The library in The Greenway in west Hull, is due to celebrate its 50th anniversary next year.
But its future has been thrown into doubt by the budget proposals.
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Ms Lipman added her name to a protest petition being gathered by users of the library after being contacted by campaigner Julie Reed.
In an email, Ms Lipman said: "Please feel free to add my name to your campaign.
"I used the library every week when I was at school in Hull, I've probably still got the odd one somewhere – a large penalty fee would probably save your library!
"I am sorry I am too tied up to be a hands-on supporter but I do feel strongly that libraries have evolved, necessarily, since the rise of the internet and have become community centres – havens for young and old and a hugely important heart for fractured society.
"It is all too easy to stand back and let that be destroyed then suddenly find how irreplaceable it was.
"Good for you, Julie, in standing up for your children's heritage.
"I hope many, many others join you at the barricades."
Mrs Reed, who lives in Southern Drive, Anlaby Park, tracked down the actress through her agent.
"I just looked her up on the internet and was amazed she replied so quickly," she said.
"It's obvious with her connections to Hull and the fact she actually used the library regularly when she was at school that she still really cares for the place."
Mrs Reed said she also uses the library regularly, along with her three children, who attend weekly music sessions there.
She said: "It really is the hub of this community because there are no other facilities like it in the area."
Councillor Karen Woods, who represents the local Boothferry ward, said: "The footfall at the library is more than 40,000 a year, making it one of the best-used libraries in the city.
"It makes no sense to close such a well-used facility."
Labour say the Anlaby Park area will be covered by a mobile library service if the closure is confirmed.
The group's budget proposals also include plans to reduce opening times at other libraries across the city as a result of funding cuts.
The council-run library at the KC Stadium has recently been closed to save money with users being redirected to the refurbished Western Library in Boulevard.
Library facilities at the Marfleet health centre, in Preston Road, east Hull, are being switched to the Isaac Newton sports centre, in Hemswell Avenue, Greatfield estate, east Hull.
Three customer service centres are also closing.