Saturday, 25 June 2011

Could this be the future of Mayfair Library?

For many years Westminster Council has been attempting to close one of our small but much loved Libraries in the hope of achieving savings and reducing its liabilities. If not for our determined opposition to its closure, there would be no Library in the building that is currently being leased to Westminster at absolutely no charge.

We prepared ourselves to renew our fight for OUR taxes to be spent on OUR libraries upon the government's announcement that it would be making major cuts to public services with the aim of reducing the national deficit. But as the months passed, it seemed that all the preparation to fight for Mayfair was for nought as our councillors assured us that the library would not be closing this year and that exciting changes would be coming to the library service in Westminster and beyond.

Still wary of Mayfair's closure, we decided to lend our hand to any activities that would preserve our service and its wonderful staff members. It was at this point that our Councillors and Westminster Management suggested the idea of residents assisting with the rounding up of donations and volunteers to save Mayfair Library, and only Mayfair.

All the while St. James's Library which is far busier, has more customers, and is in a location with no immediate alternative was announced to be closing by mid-august. We found it strange that they would close such a busy well used library while assuring us that Mayfair would remain open.

It was at this point we realised that they were scared of us. Not all residents, but the active ones for sure.

But then we discovered what was being proposed in the borough of Hammersmith and Fulham (who Westminster Libraries have been meeting with on a regular basis as part of the new Tri-borough project).

'The council intends that Barons Court Library will be run as a volunteer-led service and the  Sands End Library will be relocating to a new purpose built setting still within the Sands End ward at Hurlingham & Chelsea School on Peterborough Road.'

It would seem that they've been grooming us to take over the responsibilities that we've elected them and paid them very well to manage and they didn't have the guts to tell us to our faces.

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