Shock as Redland Library faces closure

February 27 2015

REDLAND Library is one of the sites proposed to close as part of the council's plans to cut over £1m from the city's budget.

REDLAND Library is one of the sites proposed to close as part of the council's plans to cut over £1m from the city's budget.

It is one of seven libraries recommended for closure, including Clifton, Eastville, Westbury-on-Trym, Sea Mills, Bedminster and Brislington.

However, the new library development in Gloucester Road is not to be affected, the Bishopston Voice understands.

The consultation, which launched at the end of last year, came about following the proposal to cut £1.1m from the library budget and the council recording a "very low" usage of traditional services.

Only 189 residents responded from Redland to the council's survey, which set out to see how people engage with Bristol's libraries.

Over 6,000 responses were received by the council in total - 210 residents responded from Bishopston.

It is estimated that only 15 percent of residents within the city borrow at least one item per year.

The survey enabled residents to share their ideas and suggestions on how to develop libraries into an improved flexible, modern space for learning and socialising.

The proposals to close seven of Bristol's libraries will be presented at a cabinet meeting on March 3.

If approved, the council will then begin a further 12-week consultation period for residents to comment on their proposals.

Redland councillor, Martin Fodor, is urging local residents to make their voices heard about the proposals.

He said: "This is an awful consequence of the government's austerity measures affecting local budgets, which are being shrunk year on year.

"Libraries are well-loved services, but not many people appear to be using them. Lots of people will be very upset about the proposals and they are going to react - everyone needs to get involved.

"We need to find ways to make use of libraries during these cuts, and be as creative as possible.

"It's important to look at what political parties are proposing, as many of them are signed up to enforcing austerity measures.

"I believe there should be well-funded local services for people that need them."

Bishopston councillor and assistant mayor for neighbourhoods, Daniella Radice, said: "The council needs to decide how to accommodate these cuts, recognising that it will be difficult to keep all libraries open whilst maintaining a good service.

“I want to hear from all those who may be affected by the proposed changes so we can make the best decision possible within the budget constraints. Please read this consultation carefully and let the council know your views on it.”

Redland Library