Library plans approved

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COUNCIL bosses have approved plans to transform library services across the district.

At a cabinet meeting on Tuesday, senior councillors rubber stamped plans to create 14 ‘hub’ libraries run by the council and 12 which could be run by community groups.

Community leaders and residents have three months to come forward with viable proposals to run library services in Ackworth and at St Mary’s Community Centre in Chequerfield, Pontefract.

Coun Dave Dagger, cabinet member for libraries, said the cost-cutting measures – which will save the council £800,000 – were based on extensive consultation which showed only 14.5 per cent of the population were regular borrowers.

He added: “At times these decisions are not very popular, but this is very much a new beginning for library services in Wakefield, one that will build on the idea that libraries are for everyone.”

Community groups will be able to bid for a £100,000 pot of cash to run the two sites as “satellite” services.

Around £1m will also be invested in the hub services – including Castleford Forum, Airedale, Featherstone, Knottingley and Pontefract libraries – which could include implementing wi-fi and e-books.