Unpaid library fines amount to more than £36,000

Dewsbury Library. (D511E430)
Dewsbury Library. (D511E430)
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If the figure in unpaid library fines owed to Kirklees Council was levied on a single book then it would have been overdue since before the Battle of Hastings.

If the figure in unpaid library fines owed to Kirklees Council was levied on a single book then it would have been overdue since before the Battle of Hastings.

The amount of money owed to the council in unpaid library fines for the five years up to March 31, 2014, is £36,311.

But over that period the council collected a total of £195,940, which works out at £107 per day.

A council spokeswoman said: “The council continues to make every effort to collect fines and will recover some of those outstanding over time.

“We do not want to discourage people from using the library service and when people have difficulty paying we allow them to pay off fines in instalments.”

The council is currently consulting on how to keep libraries open as funding is cut.

Around 60 or 100 jobs will be lost as the council seeks volunteers to step in to help with or take over the running of services.

The consultation will cost the library service £20,000.

More information on fines is available at www.kirklees.gov.uk/leisure/libraries/pdf/feesAndCharges.pdf

The website also has information on the consultation and volunteering.