Nottingham Labour Group has voted against closing three city libraries following pressure from a campaign group opposed to council plans.
Aspley, Basford and Radford Lenton libraries are all under consideration for closure by Nottingham City Council, but a nine-month campaign has led to an internal vote within the Labour Group deciding not to shut them down.
Although the council is unlikely to take the decision until the New Year, leader of the Save Nottingham Libraries campaign, Stewart Halforty, 42, described the vote as a “victory”.
He said: “Initially we set up a petition because we wanted to be part of the consultation on whether to close the libraries.
“Then we used the network we built around the petition to organise people and put pressure on the council to hold consultation meetings in each of the affected libraries, which they then did.”
After the vote, the pressure group released a statement on its Facebook page which read in part: “WE WON! At a close vote at Nottingham Labour Group councillors voted to keep all three libraries open and against a modified motion to close some of the libraries.
“Libraries like these are a gift to be passed from one generation to the next and we can never be absolutely certain they are safe …
“It’s been a hard fought and long campaign with thousands of supporters and dozens of hard-working volunteers from all over the city.”
“The libraries are slap-bang in the middle of working-class areas and the council don’t want to run them anymore”
STEWART HALFORTY, SAVE NOTTINGHAM LIBRARIES
Mr Halforty believes the council wants to shut the libraries down because they cost more as stand-alone sites than those attached to joint service centres.
“The libraries are slap-bang in the middle of working-class areas and the council don’t want to run them anymore,” he added.
The campaigner stressed that this is why they are important to communities across Nottingham.
In response to the Labour Group’s vote, a Nottingham City Council spokesperson said: “Councils are not able to comment on discussions at political meetings.
“We will be able to say more once any proposals have been formally put forward by the authority to the relevant committee for decision.”
Aspley, Basford and Radford Lenton libraries have been contacted for comment.