24 December 2008 Page 1 of 2
Dear Councillor ..... ( Name ) .....
As Ward Councillor for .... ( Name of Ward ) .... and one of some forty-five Conservative Members of the Council, you will have been made aware of proposals for the future of Old Town Library. Will these be quietly voted through on the Conservative block vote? We should certainly be most grateful if you can make a stand for 'community' and vote "No" or abstain on proposals for volunteer staff only or the library's closure when it comes to the time, and persuade your colleagues to consider doing the same.
I write to you today to ask if you could very kindly look at the points made here, in order to assist in finding a different solution for our library. The proposal to save £22,000 p.a. [an amount representing staff costs] and the library being wholly or mainly staffed by volunteers, or closed, is opposed by our campaign.
We understand the Council's difficulties with budgets since the impact of the credit crunch, but maintain that making what is quite a small saving is not justified and, indeed, would result in grave social and economic costs.
This is not a failing library
Supporters of Old Town Library and its core users rose to the challenge from their councillors in February 2008 to ' Use It or Lose It ! ' increasing both book-loans and usage to a level which compares favourably with other libraries in the Borough.
At least 60% of its users rely on it absolutely and do not use other libraries.
Our petition in February 2008 and new petition
You may know of the existence of a Petition signed by 450 members of the public, in opposition to this library's closure, submitted to the Council in February 2008. A new petition is currently receiving signatures at Earles Newsagents.
This library is more than a book-borrowing facility
It is more to us than a book-borrowing facility. The small, welcoming space and excellent library staff contribute to our community's cohesion. It is a focal point for a large population that needs local amenities in order to prosper. Young and very elderly alike use the library regularly as a place to meet, select books, use the only free computer in Old Town and source information about local events, etc from the librarians.
Traders want you to encourage people to use their shops !
Draining people away from the area, in this case by requiring them to use the Central Library, will affect retailers most adversely. I understand that these sentiments are shared by other, more prestigious, groups than ours, namely the Old Town Group and OTBPA. Closing the library or changing its nature radically can only increase the growing sense that in Swindon, with the loss of such things under this administration [as recently high-lighted in a Guardian piece referring to Old Town Library] , we are reaching the end of 'community'.
Continued .. 'Next'
Save Old Town Library
Old Town Festival: June 2008
Antiques Valuations : Sept 2008
Photo Competition : Dec 2008