Angry Ladywood residents challenged Cllr Chaman Lal (Soho) over what consultation has taken place over the proposed closure of Spring Hill library at last nights public meeting. People told the Councillor they had not been consulted on this drastic move. Over Thirty five people gathered at ‘Keep Spring Hill Library open’ public meeting which was called by the Friends of the library.
It was pointed out that no detailed proposals had been brought forward as to how the District budget cuts would be implemented. There was a District budget proposal which consists of numbers only.
The public meeting resolved that the ‘Friends of Spring Hill Library’ should meet with Councillors on the basis of seeking a guarantee that the library remain permanently open and that it continues to be run by the Council. There was a clear feeling from the meeting that a Community Asset Transfer should not be considered.
Mark Jastrzebski (pic below) from the campaign spoke of the breadth of public support to keep the library open, over an 8 hour period over 1000 signatures had been collected. The aim is to collect 2000 before the petition is presented to District Councillors.
Ann Gallagher (pic above) spoke of how libraries were only the beginning and questioned what other community facilities in Ladywood might be next for the axe.
This point was taken up by Desmond Jaddoo (pic below), who is standing as an independent candidate for Ladywood in May local elections, he explained that Ladywood Neighbourhood Office had been closed although it was one of the busiest offices in the city. He wanted to know who had consulted local residents about this?
Support the Friends of Spring Hill Library – they will be petitioning again this Saturday 22nd February from 2pm to 5pm at Spring Hill.
This is the text of the resolution passed by members of the public at last nights meeting:
This meeting of Library users and residents believes:
1.That there has been no effective consultation by the District Committee on the proposals to close Spring Hill Library and upon their budget proposals to make cuts to library services in Ladywood.
2. That Spring Hill Library is a well used and an important community hub and resource for people living in Ladywood. The Library of Birmingham cannot replace what this library presently provides and much would be lost if it closes.
3. That nearly £1m of public and private capital has been spent in the last five years on the physical fabric of the library as an investment for the future of the local community.
This meeting resolves:
1. that Spring Hill Library should remain open now and in the future and there should be no further cuts in opening hours or to the book fund for the library.
2. That the Friends of Spring Hill Library will continue to publicly campaign until it has obtained a guaranteed commitment to that the library remain permanently open.
3. To elect delegates to meet with Ward and District Councillors to represent the position of this meeting and to convene and report back to a further public meeting.