Tuesday, March 01, 2011

Tower Hill Library Campaign

Today Jon Hunt submitted 917 signatures to the city council's budget meeting in support of Tower Hill Library.

The library has been under threat since managers came up with a plan to close it for three months in December. We stopped that - but had to concede two days of closure including Saturday.

The argument was it was the least used library in the Perry Barr constituency. The figures were dodgy (based on lunchtime closures) and in fact it is the only library in the heart of the constituency. Nobody wants libraries to close anyway.

So what are the chances? The council's leadership has declared it is not closing libraries - but today's meeting agreed massive savings from constituency budgets. The constituency committee will discuss libraries later this month - and we predict another huge tranche of signatures will be ready for that meeting!

There are several things that can be done - even in spite of the massive budget cuts the council has to make. The campaign is winnable and, as councillors, we must make sure it is won - as losing this library would rip the heart from our community. Saving money on local council management and getting the council to put in place its plan for city-wide savings on library budgets (by using more automatic machines and cutting costs, not by closing them) are among the options.

Photo: Jon and Ray begin collection of signatures outside the library.