Welcome reprieve for Batley & Spen libraries

Batley_LibraryBatley & Spen MP Jo Cox has welcomed news that all four of our local libraries are to be saved.

Kirklees Council will be asked to approve plans that will see Batley, Cleckheaton, Birstall and Heckmondwike libraries not only remain open but remain funded by the council.

Kirklees warned that in attempting to deal with the severest cuts from this Conservative Government in the history of local government, they would have to consider closing every library as a worst case scenario, meaning all four Batley & Spen libraries were under threat.

Mrs Cox, who campaigned to save all four from closure and launched a petition to save them, said: “This is a great victory. It is fantastic news and a welcome relief for thousands of local people who were desperate to save their valuable community resources and vital lifelines for so many people.

“This is a great result and the right result and I am delighted that the council has listened and taken on board the concerns and feelings of my constituents.

“It is a real shame that there will be cuts to services and staffing elsewhere in Kirklees but credit must go to the library staff, officers and Labour’s Cllr Graham Turner and his colleagues who have work so hard on this and, in spite of the scale of cuts they’re having to deal with, have come up with a plan that saves virtually the whole service.”

Mrs Cox used her regular column in this newspaper last month to make an impassioned eleventh hour appeal to councillors to protect our ‘awesome libraries’ and the librarians who make them great.

She added: “My campaign was attacked and criticised by the Conservatives, whose staggering cuts to Kirklees’s budget have caused this situation, but it goes to show that when local people come together in this way and fight for something they love that we can all make a difference.”

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