A RYEDALE mother has collected almost 200 signatures on a petition against plans to close rural libraries.

Sally Gordon-Finlayson, who lives in Stonegrave, said she was so angry when she heard about the proposals to shut libraries, including Kirkbymoorside and Helmsley, she decided to take action.

“I was absolutely incandescent with fury when I heard what the plans were. This is something I feel really strongly about and it really riled me,” she said.

“I talked to some of the other mums and dads and everyone felt the same, so I decided to get together a petition and it ballooned from there.”

Sally said one petition had gone to Hovingham Primary School, which her eldest daughter attends, and another to Wath Court Nursery, where her younger daughter goes.

“I take my children to the library all the time and they are always busy and used by a lot of people,” she added.

“I have received an amazing amount of support. The issue really seems to have touched and annoyed an awful lot of people.”

Sally said that if the libraries were closed they would be greatly missed.

“It is very frustrating but I think councillors should realise how annoyed people are and when they come for re-election we will remember what they’ve done,” she added.

North Yorkshire County Council’s library service is being asked to make savings of £2.3 million by reducing the number of libraries from 42 to 18.

A motion for debate is being put forward by the North Yorkshire Liberals at today’s (Wednesday) meeting of the county council, calling for all smaller libraries to be kept open but with reduced hours.

They are also calling for a reduction in opening hours of the main libraries and the retention of six of the 10 mobile libraries, while plans for a super mobile are abandoned.

However, Coun John Clark, who said he had received a ‘very positive’ response to the proposals, said he feared the motion would not be debated and would be referred to the council’s executive.

He said he had been told that as the consultation was not yet over, councillors did not have to debate his motion at this point.

“People have said they will accept a cut in hours and a poorer book service but they cannot understand why they must lose everything while others lose nothing,” he said.

“If the service of the mobile library was reduced to once every calendar month, then at least people would still have a service. And if the bigger libraries opened a day less everyone would share in the pain instead of just the smaller towns and villages.”

A petition in Kirkbymoorside had so far collected 300 signatures from residents who want the town’s library saved.

Last week a public meeting in Norton, where the library is also earmarked for closure, heard that one of the proposals being considered for the town was a combined centre of excellence with Malton.

A meeting is also being held at Helmsley Town Hall tonight (Wednesday) at 7pm and at the Rose and Crown in Nawton on Monday, also at 7pm.

The consultation on the library closures ends on February 28.