Council Set To Raise Library Fines on Elderly

Kingston Library

A Council report has recommended that people over 75 will lose their right not to be charged for books returned late.

The document recommends charging them the adult rate and is likely to be implemented at six local libraries in April 2014. 
  Neil Duncan-Jordan, of the National Pensioners Convention, said the proposals were “over the top” and that he did “not want older people to become a means to make cash for the Council”.   This is despite feedback from a consultation showing that 90 per cent of respondents were against the proposed changes.

Respondents commented that elderly people are slower readers and have difficulty remembering due dates so to fine them would be unfair.

The libraries effected will be Kingston, Tudor Drive, Surbiton, Tolworth, New Malden and Old Malden.

The proposal sets a “target” of issuing over £22,000 of library fines across the six libraries in 12 months.

Many other fines at these libraries are set to rise with the standard fine rising from 21p to 25p a day and the maximum fine increasing from £7 to £10.

The report says it aims to “take account of the need to maximise income while remaining competitive in a time of austerity.”

Seven per cent of people living in the borough of Kingston are over 75.

Plans for libraries in the south of the borough will be announced on Wednesday.

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