Large turnout for protest

Approaching one thousand people supported Darlington for Culture’s street protest to voice their anger against plans to close Crown Street Library, Cockerton Library and the mobile library service as part of borough council cutbacks.
DfC, which says the closure decision should be delayed by the council to allow a more considered approach involving the wider community, is also holding a public meeting to which interested parties can suggest Another Way, an alternative vision for the library service rather than closures. The Another Way meeting will take place at 7pm on Thursday April 7 at the Forum Music Centre in Borough Road.
DfC is throwing its support behind The Northern Echo’s online petition for a Parliamentary debate on the spending targets that necessitated cuts to important services but does not believe that the council should be absolved from blame and deplores the proposed closure of Crown Street and Cockerton Libraries and the withdrawal of the mobile library service. The organisation is unconvinced that the proposed replacement library in the Dolphin Centre will be anywhere near an adequate replacement.
Chair John Dean said: “It is no surprise that the proposals to close libraries have sparked anger and Darlington for Culture will oppose these cuts. Closing so much of the library service will adversely affect the lives of thousands of people, not just those who rely on them for books but also the diverse groups and individuals that use these valuable community resources.
“The protest on March 12 gave people a chance to show much they care about the libraries but we believe that there needs to be a broader, imaginative discussion about how the community and the library service can work together for an alternative solution to this ill-considered proposal. The thousands of people who rely on the library service deserve better from their councillors and the event in April will explore Another Way and we urge users to attend to offer their thoughts.”
Organisations interested in exploring alternatives to closure are asked to contact DfC on darlo4culture@gmail.com