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Last Updated: Wednesday, 31 January 2007, 15:59 GMT
Protest over plan to shut library
Cobett Road protest
Local people said the library is vital for the community
A protest has been held over plans to close a library which campaigners claim is part of Southampton's heritage.

The 1930s art deco-style Cobett Road library could close under Southampton City Council's plans to divert spending to elsewhere in the city.

About 40 campaigners gathered outside the library in Bitterne, to protest against the plans and said the library was vital as a community centre.

A decision on the library's future will be made next month.

I'm really upset, surprisingly upset, because there's so much goes on here
Rachel Hickman, library user

The city council said with any cuts, there would still be a sufficient number of library services across the city.

Campaigner Doreen Le-Huquet told BBC News: "It's not only a library it's a community centre for lots of groups who meet here and it's also part of Southampton's heritage.

"It's a typical 1930s building and English Heritage have said it's a good example, both inside and out, because it's not been tampered with too much.

"When it was built, it was state-of-the-art and won awards."

Rachel Hickman, a mother, said: "I'm really upset, surprisingly upset, because there's so much goes on here.

'Possible closure'

"There's a fortnightly toddler group, there's a regular story time with about 20 children or so - there's so much going on."

A Southampton City Council spokesperson said: "Following a review of the city's library service several recommendations are being considered as part of the budget proposals which will be set by council on 14 February.

"One of these is the possible closure of the Cobbett Road Library by 31 March 31.

"Should council agree to this, a final decision on whether to close the library will be made by cabinet on 19 March, following public consultation."

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