County Council slammed for ‘bad decision’ after voting to close Eastbourne libraries

Councillor Alan Shuttleworth with residents campaigning against the closure of Langney Library in Eastbourne (Photo by Jon Rigby)
Councillor Alan Shuttleworth with residents campaigning against the closure of Langney Library in Eastbourne (Photo by Jon Rigby)

East Sussex County Council’s Cabinet today decided to close the seven libraries up for review across the county.

Langney, Mayfield, Ore, Pevensey Bay, Polegate, Ringmer and Willingdon libraries are set to shut in early May.

Representatives from five of the different libraries were there to make a last-ditch plea to the Conservative County Councillors to keep their libraries open.

Stephen Lloyd MP, who spoke on behalf of Langney, said, “I was very disappointed that despite the overwhelming opposition from residents of Langney, Willingdon and, frankly, all the libraries threatened with closure, East Sussex County Councillors on Cabinet rejected calls from the public to keep all the libraries open.

“During the meeting, where I put a strong case for Langney, as well as flagging that I thought Willingdon also performed a vital role, a number of the Conservative County Councillors talked about ‘community value’.

“I have to ask what community value is there in shutting our libraries.

“Libraries which act not just as places where residents can borrow books but provide a vital community hub for local people, be it using the computers if they’re out of work or to teach children who are struggling to read.”

He went on, “We learnt only a few months ago that East Sussex County Council had overspent £720,000 on refurbishing Hastings library, the Home Secretary Amber Rudd’s constituency.

“Meanwhile today they saved £650,000 by closing seven libraries. Is this fair?”

And Langney councillor Alan Shuttleworth said, “The Langney library has played a key role in our community for many years.

“Situated in Langney shopping centre makes it a hub for everyone across Langney, Stone Cross and Sovereign Harbour.

“Schools locally, led by West Rise, have been unanimous in their support for our campaign to save Langney library. A bad decision was made today at County Hall.”

To read more about the decision click here.