Redland library spared

August 03 2015

A U-TURN has been made over plans to scrap seven of Bristol's libraries – including Redland library.

A U-TURN has been made over plans to scrap seven of Bristol's libraries – including Redland library.

The six-month consultation process revealed a strong desire to retain local libraries and now, the council has agreed to keep all of the sites open.

The controversial plans came about following the proposal to cut £1.1m from the library budget and the council recording a "very low" usage of traditional services. The council has now reduced their savings target to £465k.

The revised proposals are to keep all of the city's libraries open, but with reduced opening hours and to relocate Eastville library to better serve the people of Lockleaze.

Plans for a pilot scheme to extend some library opening hours through an electronic access system such as swipe card access have also been put forward.

Further new elements of the service include building improvements, technology upgrades, a volunteering programme and new community focussed roles to develop usage in areas of greater disadvantage.

Daniella Radice, Bishopston councillor and Assistant Mayor for Neighbourhoods, said: "We have strongly argued that we do not want to see the closure of libraries. In April we asked to delay decision making so we could work on a funding proposal to enable us to keep these libraries open, and improve the wider service.

"The Green Party recognises that libraries are some of our most important community assets. They are a symbol of our commitment to free learning and access to knowledge in the city.”

Carla Denyer, councillor for Clifton East, said: “Redland library is a treasured community asset, and we had to make sure local voices were heard. After I helped to establish Friends of Redland Library with fellow Cotham councillor Dani Glazzard and local residents, we saw the number of submissions to this consultation dramatically increase.”

Martin Fodor Green Party Councillor for Redland ward said: “We now have to make sure that this stays high up the political agenda in order to maintain and improve the quality of our libraries."