Thousands sign petitions to save radical library cuts

kath chadwick, julie blaisdale, theresa tomlinson & John Dean handing over library petitions

kath chadwick, julie blaisdale, theresa tomlinson & John Dean handing over library petitions

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Thousands of people have signed petitions campaigning against proposed changes to the way Whitby library is run in the face of impending cost cuts.

Over 1600 signatures were collected by two groups of volunteers in Whitby alone.

Led by Kathleen Chadwick the petition was against changes/cutbacks of professional staff at Whitby Library.

Another group of campaigners were also pounding the streets drumming up support for the town’s library resource.

Together they gathered 1652 names.

In addition a group called ‘Save North Yorkshire’s Libraries’ was also running a separate campaign on a more county wide level.

The petition was asking the county council to “adjust their proposals to reduce drastically or remove paid staff from our public libraries”.

Library supporters were also suggesting that at least one paid member of staff be retained in each library and at least two in ‘hybrid’ libraries - which Whitby is set to become.

There were more signatures from the Whitby area than any other village with campaigners also signing from Easingwold and Stillington (192 signatures); Helmsley (221); Kirbymoorside (309); Malton and Norton (161); Pickering (318); Scarborough (144) and Thirsk (341).

The petitions were handed over last Thursday at Whitby Library to Julie Blaisdale, the county council’s assistant director for library and community services.

It came days before National Libraries Day.

Mrs Chadwick said: “The staff at Whitby offer excellent service in the town and surrounding villages. The response has demonstrated that people want to keep professional staff and not have the servic eroded.”