There has been uproar over plans to shut Anlaby Park Library in west Hull - described by city-born actress Maureen Lipman as a “lovely little place” - and re-route the mobile library service to cover the area, following cuts to council funding.
A packed public meeting held at the library, once a tennis clubhouse, saw a number of people offer to help set up a community-run venture, which the council claims it will support. However, Liberal Democrat councillor Karen Woods said Plan A was still to keep the library - which is due to close on March 28 - open.
She said: “Over 100 people turned up to the meeting - people were turned away because they couldn’t get in. The aim was to get the strength and feeling of the public as to whether they wanted it kept open. There is still anger that there has been no public consultation; they have not followed the 12-week consultation required by the Public Libraries and Museums Act 1964.”
A solicitor has offered to help residents and Barbara Bourne, who runs a free craft group on Tuesdays and will be presenting the petition to a meeting at Hull’s Guildhall on Thursday, said the main aim would be to set back the closure date.
She added: “Plan B is to keep it open with less staff and shorter hours with voluntary help, but if the worst comes to the worst we will keep it on completely run by volunteers. A solicitor has come forward from Hessle, who is going to help mainly to get the closing date extended. We need the extra time to get organised if we have to go down a different route.”
Residents have been told they can use Fred Moore library or the Gypsyville Centre, both about a mile away. But locals have said there is not public transport there and for the elderly it is too far to walk.