Ready to fight to Save Our Libraries

Among recent protests was a march along the High Street supporting Pateley Bridge Library. (110205M1f)
Among recent protests was a march along the High Street supporting Pateley Bridge Library. (110205M1f)

LIBRARY campaigners have been urged to make their views known before a consultation closes at the end of this month.

With Starbeck, Bilton and Pateley Bridge libraries all under threat - as well as the valued mobile libraries - the Advertiser has called a public meeting for this Monday.

Chaired by the Editor, Jean MacQuarrie, it will offer supporters the chance to show how important libraries are to them and to offer suggestions to North Yorkshire County Council for possible alternative options. Although the council refused to send a representative, all comments will be passed on as part of the consultation.

On the panel will be Andrew Jones, MP for Harrogate and Knaresborough, and Coun Margaret-Ann de Courcey-Bayley, who represents Starbeck on the county council.

She said county hall had this week promised the libraries would not be closed immediately, giving communities the chance to save them first.

But she added: “From my point of view it’s definitely plan B because the last thing I would like to see is the hard-working library staff pushed out.”

Coun de Courcey-Bayley praised one member of the public who had turned up at county hall this week with a list of proposals to help keep libraries open without relying solely on volunteers and called on the community to use Monday night’s meeting to do the same.

“The more people who come along with bright ideas, the better,” she said. “Nobody wants to lose it but what we really need is ideas on how we can continue the service.”

The public meeting takes place at St Andrew’s Church, Starbeck, on Monday, February 21 from 5.30pm and is open to everyone. Late arrivals will be welcome to join and anyone who cannot attend can send comments or questions to be read out to or the address on Page 6.