Emmerdale actress against library cuts

Tracy Brabin and Jo Cox outside Batley Library, with Julie Smith, Alison Downie, Maxine Parsons and Emily Chiappini.
Tracy Brabin and Jo Cox outside Batley Library, with Julie Smith, Alison Downie, Maxine Parsons and Emily Chiappini.
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“The libraries were pivotal to my success and everyone should be given the same opportunities.”

That’s the view of Emmerdale actress Tracy Brabin, who has backed a campaign to save Batley and Birstall’s libraries.

Mrs Brabin, who plays Ashley Thomas’ love interest Carole, was rallying support outside Batley Library with Batley and Spen Labour candidate Jo Cox on Wednesday.

The soap star, who studied at Batley Library while doing her A-Levels at Heckmondwike Grammar School, said the libraries were the “lifeblood” of their communities.

“I know the council is struggling to balance the books but there must be some consideration,” she said.

“The town centres are struggling as it is and to take the libraries away would be detrimental to trying to bring people in.

“I remember winning a writing competition at Birstall Library when I was nine and it breaks my heart to think other children would be able to enjoy them like I did.”

The campaign to save the libraries was launched after Kirklees Council revealed it was considering a “drastic” option to close all but two libraries in North Kirklees as a cost-cutting measure.

The most drastic option would involve closing all libraries in Kirklees except for Huddersfield and Dewsbury.

Mrs Cox has called on Kirklees Council to go back to the drawing board.

She said: “You go into the library and see elderly people reading newspapers, people using the internet looking for jobs and young children enjoying story time.

“If the council gives up on the libraries then the soul of the town centres will be lost.

“They need to be careful because if the libraries go then we will not get them back.”

Mrs Brabin and Mrs Cox also visited Birstall Library and Heckmondwike Grammar School.