Cramlington knitting group stitched up

Some of the toys made by the Cramlington Knitting Group, outside the library in protest.
Some of the toys made by the Cramlington Knitting Group, outside the library in protest.
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A community knitting group has been banned from meeting in a library because they are too popular.

Cramlington Knitters Group, who have been meeting in the town’s library for three years, were this week told they would need to find a new premises – or split the group – because the group had become too large.

Group member Margaret Derrick said: “The library told us they have no room for us so we have to look for other premises.

“Three years ago when they were frightened the library may close I was approached to set up a knitting group and everyone was pleased with the success.

“As the numbers grew the council staff were delighted, but now they have their new premises they do not want us as we are too big.

“They say we are noisy – no more than in the old library.

“We feel we have been used by the council to provide Cramlington with a new clinical library and now our purpose is not required any more.”

Town and county councillor, Wayne Daley, said: “I am horrified that the county council has thrown out 25 senior citizens who knit baby clothes for the NHS.

“This group is an excellent example of what is great about our community and the answer from the council is to throw them out of the library – a facility which is meant to be a community hub.

““I find it unbelievable that complaints of noise can justify this action. The group meet for two hours out of the 48 hours the library is open. I thought libraries were fun places attracting all ages but it seems in Northumberland they are back in the dark ages.

“Northumberland County Council has done nothing to demonstrate it is a community supporting council.”

A spokesman for Northumberland County Council said: “We very much value the contribution of the knitting group and want them to go on meeting in the new Cramlington library and customer service centre.

“However, the group is now regularly attracting up to 30 people and unfortunately they have outgrown the library space.

“We also have to take into account the needs of library users who are trying to access the book shelves.

“We have asked them to perhaps split into two smaller groups but the group organiser has refused this offer.

“We are currently looking into finding alternative accommodation for the group, perhaps at the Concordia leisure centre which is next door to the current library space. The town council is also trying to identify another meeting place for the group so we hope a solution can be found soon.”

The group are today looking at alternative accomodation.