YP Letters: Volunteers step in when cuts hit our libraries

From: Coun Jack Scott, Cabinet Member for Community Services and Libraries, Sheffield Council.
Sheffield Council has defended its library policy.Sheffield Council has defended its library policy.
Sheffield Council has defended its library policy.

MATTHEW Steele wrote about library services in Sheffield (The Yorkshire Post, May 24). I thought it would be useful to set out the council’s view. I agree with Mr Steele about the importance of libraries and the many benefits that they bring.

I would like thank the volunteers and community groups who have willingly stepped up to help run 15 libraries in Sheffield (shortly to be 16 with Tinsley).

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Their effort, time and dedication makes a big difference to local communities.

Massive cuts from central Government mean that it would be impossible for all our libraries to stay open without the wonderful work the volunteers put in.

Libraries are still one of our major priorities. The council invests around £4.3m on them each year, but continuing cuts by the Government mean we have had to change the way we manage them.

The changes made in 2014 followed over two years of reviewing all options and extensive consultation where local people told the council that they wanted to maintain as many libraries as they could, even if this meant things being done differently.