“Time for a rethink on Libraries” say Lib Dems
The controversial proposal to merge the Council’s One Stop Shop and Library, and possibly move Bath Central Library, should be scrapped according to Lib Dem Councillors on B&NES Council.
At tonight’s meeting, Councillors will receive a petition – signed by over 5,000 people – calling for the library to be saved. Lib Dem spokesperson on community services and new Walcot Councillor, Richard Samuel, will propose a motion agreeing with the petitioners and calling for the Council to acknowledge their concern.
Councillor Samuel commented:
“The strength of local feeling on this issue is unmistakeable. Not only do we have a petition signed by thousands of local people, but we have seen multiple protest demonstrations and campaigners speaking at every Council meeting for months. The Council must take notice of residents’ views.
“We are calling for the current process to be stopped and for the whole project in its current form to be withdrawn. The so-called consultation, which is open until Monday, is hopelessly flawed. It doesn’t ask residents whether they actually want the One Stop Shop and the Library to be merged; nor does it give a real choice over locations. Essentially it is a fake consultation and it should be scrapped.
“The worst thing of all is that the Council is planning to spend millions of pounds of taxpayers’ money, some of which it plans to borrow, implementing this flawed project when the money would be better invested in providing a top class library Bath can be proud of.”
Councillor Alison Millar (Bathavon North) added:
“The lack of responsiveness by Cabinet members to the many concerns regarding the library restructure which have been expressed by a large cross section of Bath's residents is just not acceptable. Questions have gone unanswered, emails have gone unopened and at every stage the Cabinet has shown it does not value residents’ wishes.
“With the previous Cabinet member having resigned and the responsibility for Libraries having passed to the new policy and transformation portfolio, this is now the time for a fundamental rethink.”