More than £1.7K worth of library fines wiped by Wakefield Council in exchange for food donations

More than £1,700 worth of library late fees were cancelled by Wakefield Council in December in exchange for food and toiletry donations, as part of a “Food for Fines” scheme.

Thursday, 31st January 2019, 11:18 am
Updated Thursday, 31st January 2019, 12:23 pm
David Holdsworth from Fare Share with catering manager Frank Robinson, Jonathan Williams, Sean Fitzsimmons & Anita Lee.

The local authority turned the district’s libraries into foodbank collection points during the three weeks before Christmas.

People were offered the chance to have any charges that they had accumulated for late returns wiped off the record in return for item donations.

A dozen charities benefited from the idea, with over 1,300 items donated between December 1 and December 22.

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In a report, Wakefield Council’s portfolio holder for leisure, Jacquie Speight, said the scheme had worked so well that it was now likely to become a regular fixture.

She wrote: “An initiative to support people in need by turning the district’s libraries into collection points for local food banks, has been a huge success.

“In December, ‘Food for Fines’ gave customers the chance to clear unpaid library fines by donating non-perishable food items and toiletries, to the collection.

“The goods were distributed to 12 local charities and £1,744.53 of fines were waived in the amnesty.

“Thanks to the great response, plans are now underway to make the December amnesty an annual event.”