Town’s library spared the axe

Mirfield Library. (D541D429)
Mirfield Library. (D541D429)

Campaigners are celebrating after Mirfield Library was spared the axe by Kirklees Council.

It is a welcome end to a lengthy period of uncertainty for library users in the town as the Cabinet voted through the Future Libraries Report last week.

Jenny Tomlinson, chair of Friends of Mirfield Library, said: “This is fantastic news for the Library and residents of Mirfield. Thank you to everyone who supported this campaign. We are looking forward now to a new future with the library and we still would like to urge volunteers to join.”

The service will be cut from 48 to 35 hours a week however, as the local authority looks to make savings.

Coun David Pinder said the reduction would be counter productive. “If the hours that people can use the library are reduced then the council can say later on that the library’s not being used.

“But I think with regard to keeping the library open they have listened carefully and I can only complement the Friends group for their hard work and campaign.”

The results of the Future Libraries Report, designed to slash the budget for library services in Kirklees by £1.8m, will see 24 of the area’s 26 libraries retained.

However, there is still ambiguity about whether the services will be operated from their current locations.

The Cabinet report reads: “Due to the fact that all libraries will operate reduced opening hours, where they are currently situated will need to be reviewed. “This cannot be done in isolation and will need to have regard to other services that will be offered in the same location.”

Across Kirklees, 88 full-time jobs will be lost with the possibility of that figure rising to more than 100, as part-time roles are taken into consideration.