It is important to objectively assess the Lincolnshire library situation and understand the hard decisions we have to make.
First of all, although it is regrettable that some staff at Market Rasen have had a cut in hours, overall the library itself will remain open, with a loss of only two hours per week.
The County Council has specific statutory duties to deliver essential services and thereby protect children and vulnerable adults.
We also have to repair and upgrade our roads, and remove snow and ice during the winter. We have to further protect people by ensuring that vital large scale projects conform to Planning rules. In addition we work intensively with the NHS to scrutinise new ways of commissioning, looking over the ambulance service, and working with various health partnerships in our area.
When all these vital activities are considered, there is not a great deal left from a budget of £1.1 billion in times of austerity.
The £2 million saved from a rationalisation of the library service will help insure that the youngest and the most elderly in a county of 720,000 people are looked after.
Keep in mind also that the restructuring of our libraries could have been well on the way by now but for a vigorous challenge in the High Court.
We have wrestled long and hard with this issue because we know it is important for many citizens.
But we have concluded that the health, safety and well-being of our population is our duty, and in order to move forward in a fiscally responsible manner, we have chosen the right course.
Coun Burt Keimach
District and County Councillor for Market Rasen