Wednesday, 16 March 2016


AN upbeat note has sounded on five of the six branch libraries offloaded by NELC in responding to spending cuts.

The branches at Grant Thorold, Humberston, Laceby, Nunsthorpe and Scartho are now operated by external organisations which have been allowed to retain much of the book stock and furniture. Volunteers are playing a key part in their success.

"It's a good news story," enthused Sally Jack. "They're buzzing." 

At a NELC scrutiny panel meeting, Coun Tim Mickleburgh said the achievement locally compared favourably by contrast with the demise of libraries in many parts of the country including Birmingham.

Enthusiasm was also sounded by chairman Coun Ian Shepherd . "We should be shouting about this," he insisted.

Head of the borough's libraries service Steve Hipkins confirmed that all branches would soon be WiFi enabled thanks to funding from the Arts Council.

He noted that the new branch library operators - which enjoy 25-year leases - were provided with advice, if requested, but they had all been "happy to work independently".

He continued: "They're standing on their own feet."

The only disappointment is that, despite the best efforts of the ward councillors, no one has come forward to run The Willows branch where the premises are now expected to revert to the local school.

"That's a pity," lamented Coun Terry Thurogood. "I guess it's a dead duck." 

The premises at Humberston - said to be thriving under new management

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