People Power Saves Ealing's Libraries
Reaction from the Conservatives and Lib Dems
At the 14 June Council Meeting, Councillors and residents presented seven separate petitions signed by over 8,000 residents in support of four libraries which were under threat of closure by the ruling Labour Administration.
At the meeting, in the face of strong arguments and before a packed gallery, the Council suggested that, having listened to the strong opposition, they would be recommending, at their 5 July meeting that Hanwell Library, Northfields Library, Northolt Leisure Centre Library and Perivale Library be saved from closure. The mobile library service would still have to shut.
Cllr David Millican, Leader of the Conservative Group said:
"Of course we don't know the details of what they will propose. At the meeting last night I thanked the Labour Council for responding positively but told them that we would need to understand exactly what they were saying. The devil will be in the detail.
"Along with many Conservative Councillors I had spent hours and hours with residents getting petitions signed. The strength of the opposition makes it clear how well loved and valued our libraries are to our communities. I would like to thank the residents for standing up for our libraries today. Their actions will ensure that future generations will have a safe place to enhance and enrich their
Liberal Democrat Communities Spokesman Cllr Nigel Bakhai has also welcomed the announcement
Nigel Bakhai said: “Whilst it is disappointing that the mobile library will shut, I welcome the news that the council no longer plans to close the libraries at Hanwell, Northfields, Perivale and Northolt Leisure Centre.
''We wait to see the council’s proposals in detail and, in particular, the role that volunteers will be expected to play in the running of libraries in the future, but for now I would like to pay tribute to the fantastic efforts of library campaigners around Ealing to collect thousands of signatures over the last few months which has tonight forced the council into a u-turn over their plans to close these four libraries.
''As a ward councillor for Elthorne where Hanwell Library is situated, I would particularly like to thank Carolyn Brown and the Hanwell Community Forum for organising the local campaign to save Hanwell Library and showing just how important libraries are as a community facility.
15 June 2011