THE closure of five libraries will rip out the “heart and soul” of towns and villages, according to angry community leaders.

Plans to shut Queensferry, Bagillt, Garden City, Halkyn and Gwernaffield libraries were passed by Flintshire Council’s executive this week despite petitions with thousands of signatures calling for them to stay open.

The council has said it will look at alternative arrangements with town councils as those behind the campaign vow to continue the fight.

The plans, contained in the budget for the next financial year, still have to be approved by the full council.

Queensferry councillor David Wisinger has led the campaign to save the library which is located on the John Summers High School campus.

He said: “The people have not been listened to. We have handed the petition in and when the full budget comes up in March we will be speaking out about it.

“My hope is they will change their mind. Queensferry library is a special case, not only has it got the facility for the high school and primary school, it has computer
facilities for pensioners.

“This is a vital resource – it is a hub for the community. I can’t see the point in taking it away. Thousands of people have said they want this facility, why aren’t they listening?”

Sealand councillor Christine Jones said the decision would be felt by children and teenagers who were also seeing a cut in youth club provision.

Flintshire Council’s chief executive Colin Everett said the libraries would be “safe” from further cuts in the coming years.