As the first phase in a series of cuts over the next 4 years, Westminster City Council is planning to close the St James’s Library the closest public library to Parliament, in September 2011 to save £357,000. The Library, which is used extensively by local residents, local schools and local workers, was relocated to Victoria Street in the late 1990s following the closure and sale of the Great Smith Street Library, one of the oldest public libraries in London.
David Ruse director of Westminster Libraries has said “Closing St James's Library from September is one of the savings options being considered by Cabinet - this will be in the papers going to the meeting on 21 February"
There has been no consultation with library users, and both the press and members of the public have been excluded from 8/9 cabinet meetings in the last 8 months to decide what to do with our services.
“The closure of the St James’s Library is an act of civic vandalism which would not be necessary if the Council had not spent nearly £4 million on 12 temporary staff, all of whom cost the Council over £500 a day” Paul Dimoldenburg
We are therefore urging everyone to join our lobby of the Cabinet on the 21st February 2011 at 6pm outside Westminster City Hall so that Councillors are made aware of the strong feelings against these closures.