Council orders ‘obstructing’ little library to be removed

Susan Thomas set up a community library box for schoolkids  but the council have told her it has to go.
Susan Thomas set up a community library box for schoolkids but the council have told her it has to go.

Council killjoys have ordered that a tiny library be removed from a residential street.

But campaigners have started a petition to keep their book lending scheme where it is.

Susan Thomas set up a community library box for schoolkids  but the council have told her it has to go.

Susan Thomas set up a community library box for schoolkids but the council have told her it has to go.

The Ledger Little Library was the idea of Susan Thomas who set up the book-swap on Ledger Lane, Outwood, in August.

Made from a re-painted DVD cabinet, it can hold up to 100 books at a time and is popular with youngsters and older readers alike.

But Highways officials from Wakefield Council have now intervened, claiming that the cabinet, placed on a plinth against a steel railing, is obstructing the pathway.

Mrs Thomas said: “It blew my expectations out of the water when we set it up.

“I’ve been told it’s got to go, which is really sad. It’s just a wooden box with books in it, it’s not an obstruction at all.

“I think they just need to adopt a common sense approach to this.

“It seems like the community spirit we have is being squashed.

“The ultimate goal would be for it to stay where it is, because the relocation suggestions are not as good as where it is now, in terms of footfall more than anything else.

“If it comes to it, I will move it because they will probably charge me for it if I don’t, but it’s a shame. The reaction to it really blew me away and everybody thought it was a great idea.”

Antony Sadler, service director for communities for Wakefield Council said: “We fully support initiatives that encourage residents to enjoy reading and will give as much support as we can to make these happen.

“However, we are aware there have been concerns about the library cabinet in Outwood which has been installed on council land, without prior discussion or permission.

“Therefore we have contacted Mrs Thomas to suggest alternative venues who are willing to host the library box.”

A petition to keep the library in its current place has since been launched and attracted hundreds of names. It can be signed on Facebook’s Outwood Network page, or alternatively, a paper version sits in the library cabinet.