Shadwell Library Update
Following a very successful public meeting held on the 1st of November 2010 in the Recreation Centre on Holywell Lane we are now writing to residents to give you an update on progress with our campaign to retain the Library in Shadwell in the face of proposals to close it and replace it with a library bus which would visit the village on a regular basis.
The meeting was very well attended with a full hall and lots of comments, questions and support from residents throughout the village.
Councillor Rachael Proctor (one of our three local City Councillors) and Debbie Potter, Chair of the Parish Council chaired the meeting. They outlined the council’s proposals as they stand and asked for the views of residents.
In brief it appears that Shadwell is a ‘borderline’ case and therefore the decision to close is not cut and dried. It also appears that several libraries in more deprived areas of the city with lower user numbers are proposed to be kept open at Shadwell’s expense and this is a good place to challenge the decision to close Shadwell. Concerns were raised over what would happen to the building if it was closed, what would happen to the money from a sale of the building, the accessibility of a mobile library service and if there were other locations in the village that a library could be based in.
It was unanimously agreed by a show of hands at the end of the meeting that the Parish Council, Library Users Committee and Ward Councillors should oppose the closure.
The proposed closure programme and its associated consultation programme was due to be discussed at the Council’s Leisure Services ‘Scrutiny Board’ (a panel of Councillors who meet to scrutinise the work of the Council and the decisions it makes) the next day. Councillor Potter, Councillor Proctor and residents of the village attended this hearing to make representations and to listen to the debate.
The good news is that Scrutiny Board referred the matter back to the Council’s ‘Executive Board’ (cabinet) and this means that the proposals for the Library service to embark on statutory consultation on the proposed closures is on hold until the Executive Board have reconsidered the approach the Library Service want to take.
However we cannot rest on our laurels – the threat of closure remains a real one. When the formal consultation takes place your Ward Councillors, Parish Council and Library User Committee will be having their say and we will be advising all residents in the village how they can take part as well. In the meantime there is something you can do!
Write to Councillor John Proctor (Chair of the Scrutiny Board) at Conservative Group Office, Civic Hall, Leeds, LS11UR or email him at firstname.lastname@example.org to urge him to continue his campaign against the proposals in their current form.
Write to Councillor Keith Wakefield (Leader of the Council) at Labour Group Office, Civic Hall, Leeds, LS11UR or email email@example.com to urge the administration to save Shadwell Library as a vital resource for our village, a heart of village life, greatly valued by old and young alike and one of the few remaining Council facilities within the Parish.