Northampton demonstrators stand side-by-side to say no to library funding cuts

Campaigners stood side-by-side to say no to cuts, which could affect Kingsthorpe library.
Campaigners stood side-by-side to say no to cuts, which could affect Kingsthorpe library.

“Having access to books should not be a luxury it should be a requirement to give the next generation the best start in life.”

This is the view from Rachael Ball – member of Save Kingsthorpe Library Group – who is campaigning this Saturday to keep her local book-lending service open.

Rachael has been using Kingsthorpe library for more than 25 years and fell in love with reading when her grandma first introduced her to books.

Now she, like other concerned mums – who have been in touch with the Chronicle & Echo after Northamptonshire County Council announced plans to “redesign” 28 library services – want to shout about how shutting the doors could have a detrimental impact on the well being of new parents and their children’s education.

She said: “Since a lot of the funding was cut to the children’s centres, the libraries have become so important to new parents.

“They offer free classes, which benefit the children so much.

The Friends of Moulton Library turned out in full force on Wednesday (October 25) to show their full support for the service.

The Friends of Moulton Library turned out in full force on Wednesday (October 25) to show their full support for the service.

"I personally believe that we need to invest in our children’s future.”

During the demonstration on Saturday, set to start at 10am, the group will be raising awareness of the fact that the library is under threat of closure and invite others to show “how much the library is loved.”

And Charlotte Yarker, part of the Friends of Moulton Library, has been drumming up support to keep her local library open by setting up a Facebook page and tweeting national authors.

She said: “In recent months, our library has been moved to a brand new, fantastically located community centre - thereby saving the council money because there is now no property costs for them. But we fear we’ll now be penalised as the council hopes to leave us to run it as volunteers rather than support us with a paid library staff member.

"It feels as if we are being presented with an ultimatum rather than a choice.”

Charlotte claims that residents – living in newly built housing estates in Moulton – use their librarian as their first point of contact and fears that vulnerable groups, such as the elderly, will lose their “vital link to the wider community,” which includes ways of applying for bus passes and blue badges.

Little Harry Tuck showed his support at the demonstration in Moulton.

Little Harry Tuck showed his support at the demonstration in Moulton.