Sir, – Not only are we greatly concerned by the library closures proposed by North Yorkshire County Council, we believe the plans are extremely unfair in their piecemeal approach.

While the full amount of council tax will continue to be demanded from everyone, the council’s plan intends to deprive some communities of their libraries, while providing a library service in others. To use a local example, closure of Helmsley and Kirkbymoorside libraries is proposed while Pickering is planned to remain.

The population of Pickering is larger, but that on its own is a wholly inadequate justification for the plan. Smaller towns are equally important as a focal point for the people who live in and around them. We strongly dispute any idea that smaller towns are somehow inferior or less important. Libraries bring benefits to many, including local school children. We want to see the benefits enhanced, not destroyed.

If the county council believes that change is necessary, we urge it to consult and work with town and parish councils throughout the county to find better ways to continue to deliver professional library services.

This needs to be consistent with the council’s statutory duty to provide a library service and to take account of the Secretary of State for Culture’s concern about libraries being closed or their services reduced “just to save money”.

During its campaign to become a unitary authority, the council stressed its desire to work closely with town and parish councils. Now it has the chance to do so.

We are prepared to work with the county to maintain and improve a professional library service for our communities. We urge other local councils to join us in pressing the county for a comprehensive and constructive approach to library provision across the county.

Couns MARTIN BRAMPTON, JOE COUGHLAN (Kirkbymoorside); Couns JOHN DEAN, CHRIS WARING, CHRISSIE WARING (Beadlam); members of Nawton Parish Council.