Last-ditch attempt to save Anlaby Park Library rejected
A LAST-DITCH plea to save Anlaby Park Library has been rejected by city councillors.
Campaigners called on the authority's ruling Labour group to postpone the closure of the popular library in The Greenway, west Hull.
It is scheduled to shut a week today after being earmarked for closure as part of the council's budget proposals.
A 2,000-name petition to try to delay the plans was put forward to a full council meeting yesterday, with library users claiming they needed more time to prepare a community- led takeover bid.
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But councillors say plans to close the library next week will go ahead, describing the move as "a necessary measure".
Instead, they have proposed a mobile library will cover the area.
Campaigners have dismissed this as being "completely inadequate".
Barbara Bourne, 77, of Legarde Avenue, west Hull, was one of the organisers behind the petition.
Mrs Bourne, who runs a knitting group at the library every Tuesday, said: "Anlaby Park Library is such a wonderful community hub.
"People in the area don't just go there to take out books, they go there to be sociable.
"We have a book club, a mothers' and babies' club and a knitting club.
"A mobile library is just completely inadequate. It won't be able to serve as many people and it will be quite far for people like me to walk."
Mrs Bourne again called on councillors to postpone the closure plans.
She said: "I strongly object to the council closing the library at all.
"It's one of the best libraries in the city and there are other less-used libraries that could have been shut down instead.
"We have now accepted the facility is going to close and we are asking for extra time to find volunteers to keep it running independently."
Elizabeth Ormerlod, of Anlaby Park Road, west Hull, is another leading figure in the campaign to keep the library open.
She said: "The library was due to celebrate its 50th anniversary next year.
"It has given so much to the community and a lot of vulnerable and elderly people meet there.
"It will really be missed.
"We have not been given any time to find a way to keep the library running, it's just not on."
Lib Dem Councillor Karen Woods, who represents Anlaby Park, supported the petition to postpone closure plans.
She said: "It has been a very short window from the actual decision to close the library to getting here today."
But Labour cabinet portfolio holder for leisure Councillor Terry Geraghty admitted the issue of budget cuts had not been easy for the ruling group.
He said: "We don't want to make these cuts."
He claimed the west Hull area was still well-served with two other branch libraries within a mile of Anlaby Park.