Northampton woman pleads with council to keep library doors open amid fears parents will lose activities for children

Rebecca with daughter, Robyn.
Rebecca with daughter, Robyn.

A mum-of-one who moved to Duston from Bristol, not knowing anyone, is urging Northamptonshire County Council to keep open library doors, claiming the book-lending service has been a 'godsend' for her family.

This week cash-strapped council chiefs revealed a series of early budget proposals they say will save the authority £9.6 million. The measures are a prelude to a far greater series of cuts due to be announced in December. Among them, Northamptonshire County Council has announced plans to "redesign" library services across the county, putting up to 28 at risk.

Pregnant, Rebecca Canuti, 37 of Duston uses her local library about three times a week with her two-year-old daughter, Robyn where they attend both Rhyme Time and Bounce and Rhyme and Rebecca sees the health visitor.

When she first moved to Duston she did not know any other mums and while on maternity leave, she struggled with money. But now Rebecca has made 'lifelong friends' at the library, who she met when Robyn was six weeks old.

She said: "I didn't know anyone who had children. When you have a new baby it can be quite daunting going out.

"I turned up when Robyn was six weeks old and [I was] shattered and everyone at the library was really really lovely.

"Through the library, I have made a great network of friends. They thoroughly enjoy using it. It's a meeting place. What I like as well is the people who work there know my little girls name."

Rebecca fears when her second baby is born in December, her child will not experience the library.

"The Duston Library, among others, was a huge lifesaver when I had my first daughter. I didn’t know any other mum’s and money was tight. The free activities like Rhyme Time, Bounce and Rhyme and Messy Play have been a godsend, as well as all the lovely books.

"Two-and-a-half years later we are still regulars and I want to take my second daughter when she’s born in December.

"I feel there will be a lot of mums and children that will miss out. There is no other free alternative."