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Dagenham libraries to shut their doors

PUBLISHED: 16:00 01 March 2012

Closure: Wantz Library in Rainham Road North will shut this month as part of the austerity cutbacks

Closure: Wantz Library in Rainham Road North will shut this month as part of the austerity cutbacks

Archant

Book lovers have lost their battle to keep libraries open.

At a meeting last week councillors unanimously agreed to shut Wantz Library, Rainham Road North, on March 31 and the Markyate branch in Markyate Road, Dagenham, by the end of September.

Castle Green Library in Gale Street, Dagenham, could also shut under fresh proposals.

The overhaul of libraries is seen as a blow by campaigners. Sandra Wiltshire gathered more than 100 signatures in a bid to save the Markyate branch.

In a petition to the council she stated: “We need this library to remain open for the sake of the elderly, disabled and the local children.

“It is used and valued by local residents who are unable to travel to the bigger main libraries.”

Barking and Dagenham Council said this year’s overhaul of library services was set to save £425,000 in 2012/13 and a further £226,000 in 2013/14 but no jobs will be lost.

Markyate Library could be turned into a mum and toddlers’ group. Thames View Library will be merged with its adjacent children’s centre in Bastable Avenue, Barking.

An assembly report dated February 22 states new options were being looked at including the potential closure of Castle Green Library and the “re-shaping” of services at Marks Gate Library in Rose Lane, Chadwell Heath.

A council spokesman said: “Funding cuts from the coalition means that we need to make significant budget savings in the next financial year.”


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