Shirley Burnham : Open Forum : Cabinet : 22nd July 2009
STATEMENT TO OPEN FORUM : SHIRLEY BURNHAM : 22 JULY 2009
Statement to Open Forum : Shirley Burnham
Supporters from all walks of life have made a huge effort to communicate their views to councillors and officers. Nevertheless, in one week during March users were given Closure Notices for 1st April and a couple of days later new Notices that closure was only 'proposed'. Unfortunately some users stopped borrowing altogether or drifted away to other libraries because of that.
Notwithstanding, the Cabinet has come up with new proposals for Old Town in the past few days, in order to make a saving of less than £10,000 per annum which represents the cost one part-time staff member. The Council has benefitted from advice from two consultants, one independent and another from the firm ERS. Residents, taxpayers and activists who have read the Coates and ERS Reports are now twice as aware of the management problems which beset Swindon's library service.
Cabinet's new proposals do not begin to address those problems. As a result, residents believe that they are being punished for the council's failings. We urge the Cabinet tonight to take our strong views on board, in order that our community and the other communities affected may enjoy good, local provision of their statutory library service, with its full complement of skilled and highly appreciated Library Assistants. Thank you.