Libraries 'Under Threat' Again
Hounslow Tories accuse Council of under-publicising consultation
“Labour is threatening Hounslow’s libraries again,” accused Councillor Liz Mammatt, Conservative Group Deputy Leader.
“A Consultation on the library strategy has recently been launched, when most people were pre-occupied with the Olympics and summer holidays. I found a copy quite by chance in Bedfont Library, to discover that responses are required by 15 September 2012.
The final question is the most worrying, referring to “the option to relocate library sites in the future, where it can be demonstrated that an alternative site offers an improved solution.” The Council’s and residents’ assessments of this are very likely to differ. Our libraries are well-known accessible local resources for community groups and people, including children, of all ages.
Various libraries such as those in Bedfont, Brentford, Cranford and Osterley were threatened with closure by Labour before so this consultation must not slip through with a low response in the quiet season,” said Liz.
The library consultation can be found on LB Hounslow's website with further information.
Cllr Sachin Gupta, Hounslow’s cabinet member for communications and communities, said: “It’s a shame Councillor Mammett is twisting an important and well-publicised consultation for the sake of scoring a political point at the start of the football season. As usual though, her comments have only produced an own-goal.
“We’ve made it very clear that we are not closing libraries or reducing their opening hours. In fact we recently refurbished several sites and invested in upgraded IT and computers. It says so in the consultation.
“We want to put libraries at the heart of the local community, and far from trying to push through “unpopular changes” as Cllr Mammatt implies, we’re asking library users for their views on how we’re planning to improve the service for the future. Many of our proposals come from what communities have told us they want at libraries. The publicity happened weeks ago and included press releases, posters in libraries, website and social media.
“There is over a month before the consultation closes and plenty of time for people to tell us what they think.”
September 21, 2012