Liberal Democrat councillors, who along with many resident groups have led the opposition to the Mayor’s library closure programme, have welcomed today’s statement that the decision to proceed has been halted to consider other options.
Cllr Anthony Negus, Chair of the all-party library scrutiny group, said: “It is a good sign that the Mayor is listening at last to the consultation, the many thousands of people who signed the petitions and our motion passed by full council. I welcome this move and will be contacting the Mayor and Deputy Mayor to offer ways in which the whole council can contribute to an alternative and sustainable way forward.”
Cllr Tim Kent, Lib Dem Councillor for Hengrove and Whitchurch Park: said “for those of us representing communities where libraries had been threatened with certain closure this decision throws our libraries a real lifeline. I and my colleagues have strongly suggested a better and more workable alternate model and we welcome the decision to now consider it.”
Liberal Democrat councillors submitted an alternate model of mutualisation – a non-profit-making organisation to run the library network, led by paid professional staff working with volunteers. The idea was taken up by the all-party library scrutiny task and finish group and also adopted by full council, against the majority Administration.
Today the Mayor and Deputy Mayor announced the planned final decision on libraries, due to be made on the 4th December, was not going ahead to allow a full examination of other options.