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MP hands Parliament petition in bid to help Sedgefield library
5:40pm Monday 17th September 2012 in News
AN MP has handed in a petition to Parliament calling for longer opening hours for a market town’s library which has suffered due to county council budget cuts.
Phil Wilson, Labour MP for Sedgefield, has presented the petition with 1,250 names on it to Parliament in a bid to help Sedgefield Library.
Mr Wilson has joined forces with residents and Councillor John Robinson, of Durham County Council, on the project.
The group has formed because the county council has cut Sedgefield Library’s opening hours to 20 hours a week.
The authority has acted to try to save £1.5m as it seeks savings of £174m over four years after its budget was slashed by the Government.
The campaigners want to open the library for 25 hours a week and it is proposed to set up a group called Friends of Sedgefield Library to help resolve the issue.
Phil Wilson MP said: “I can understand local residents concerns about the cut in the opening hours of Sedgefield library.
“I am working with the local council to see if a solution can be found. The first step is to form a Friends of Sedgefield Library Group.
“The county council estimates that it would cost about £5,000 a year to keep the library open for an additional five hours a week.
“We are looking at various ways of finding the money.”
It is estimated it will cost £5,000 a year to open the library for the extra hours and the group is looking at options that could secure funding.
A public meeting to discuss the library issue is to be held on Friday, November 2 at 7pm in Sedgefield Parish Hall.