Village library is 'essential to village life' say campaigners hoping to keep it open

Protestors young and old are hoping to keep Middleton Cheney library open.
Protestors young and old are hoping to keep Middleton Cheney library open.

Plans that could see a library "essential to village life" in Middleton Cheney closed down has sparked a protest form residents.

Last month, Northamptonshire County Council announced plans that could see up to 22 small and medium-sized libraries across the county closed as part of a £9.6 million round of cuts.

The move - which would see eight large libraries stay open - has sparked outrage across the county, particularly in outlying areas.

In Middleton Cheney, more than 250 people have now signed a petition to keep the village's facility on Main Road, open.

As well as providing a place to hire books and films, people in the isolated village go there for internet access and training, mother and toddler baby groups, reading groups and craft sales.

A gardening club and history society are among the organisations that meet there in the evenings.

Richard Solesbury Timms, who chairs the Middleton Cheney Library Action Committee, said: "We are opposing the austerity cuts imposed on us from the county council.

"Secondly, we are looking at all the ideas regardless of the options being imposed on us. We want to keep the library open and functioning for our community.

"We will be leafletting residents about the campaign and putting up posters of what action we will be taking."

The county council has proposed three options for library services in the county.

Option one is to offer 13 small libraries to community groups to run while retaining 15 medium and large libraries, such as Towcester. Option two simply proposes closing the 13 small libraries while option three proposes closing both the small and medium-size libraries such as Brackley.

However Mr Solsebury Timms says the campaign is calling for a fourth option - to keep all 28 libraries in the county open and under council control.

To sign the petition, head to https://you.38degrees.org.uk/petitions/keep-middleton-cheney-library-open