County vote to shut library
A CAMPAIGNER has branded a decision to shut a small library as devastating . Hertfordshire County Council this week voted to close Jackmans library in Letchworth GC as part of a series of changes to libraries across the county. The council says the facil
A CAMPAIGNER has branded a decision to shut a small library as "devastating".
Hertfordshire County Council this week voted to close Jackmans library in Letchworth GC as part of a series of changes to libraries across the county.
The council says the facility will close on September 30, unless North Hertfordshire District Council can confirm that it is in a position to proceed with proposals to redevelop Ivel Court, where the library is situated.
But the closure looks likely to go ahead as NHDC will only start carrying out stakeholder consultation about redevelopment in the next two to three months.
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HCC said Jackmans needs to close because it is underused but residents were against the proposal and collected 540 signatures on a petition to keep it open.
Richard Harman, chairman of the Jackmans Improvement Group, said: "It's a bit of a shock, I thought we had a good chance with the petition that we handed in.
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"It is devastating really for the community, not only for our estate but for other parts of Letchworth."
As part of HCC'S plans, Letchworth GC's main library will have longer opening hours, including being open all day on a Wednesday, when it is currently closed.
However campaigners have said the central library is difficult for elderly residents to get to, and Mr Harman said he fears the closure of Jackmans library could affect nearby shops.
He said: "It's another thing to take people away from the shopping precinct. I feel the shops will lose out a little bit on this as well.
"It's another blow to the estate. It's such a shame.
"It's another meeting point for people and it will be all shut up now, and that will be the end of that.