Campaigners turn out to protest against planned cuts to libraries

Willingdon library protest SUS-171128-144422001
Willingdon library protest SUS-171128-144422001

Campaigners have been out in force to protest against planned council cuts to library services.

East Sussex County Council is consulting on swingeing cuts to the service, which would see the closure of six libraries and the mobile library service.

Save Polegate Library meeting SUS-171128-092414001

Save Polegate Library meeting SUS-171128-092414001

Today (December 1, 3.30pm), the Save Langney Library Campaign is holding a protest walk from West Rise Schools to the shopping centre led by Stephen Lloyd MP and Langney Councillor Alan Shuttleworth, who said the proposed closure would ‘hit the youngest and most elderly people the hardest’.

The Friends of Pevensey Bay Library are also organising a protest, gathering at 10.30am on Saturday (December 2) outside the village’s library.

A spokesperson said, “We believe our library is a valuable community asset. Pevensey Bay is an outlying area which has seen the loss of its bank, the closure of the pub in the village centre, and one of its churches. Losing the library will further undermine the community.”

Polegate Town Council has also held a meeting over the future of the town’s library, attended by MP Maria Caulfield, and sent out a consultation document to all residents.

Mrs Caulfield said, “Libraries are important local amenities that many people really couldn’t do without, so we need to convince the council to keep funding them or to come up with alternative plans.”

In Willingdon, the schools have united against the planned closure.

Wilingdon Community School headteacher Emily Beer said the library was a ‘focal point’ and ‘absolutely essential’, while John Pritchett, chairman of Wilingdon and Jevington Parish Council, said students had been working ‘tirelessly’ to support the campaign.