East Sussex libraries close their doors after long battle

Last day for Polegate Library (Photo by Jon Rigby)
Last day for Polegate Library (Photo by Jon Rigby)

A number of libraries closed their doors at the weekend at the end of a long battle to save the much-loved resources.

The county council closed Langney, Polegate, Pevensey Bay, Willingdon, Ringmer, Mayfield and Ore libraries on Saturday (May 5) despite public protestations in an attempt to cut costs.

Last day for Langney Library (Photo by Jon Rigby)

Last day for Langney Library (Photo by Jon Rigby)

The mobile library service has also been stopped.

This comes after community campaigns to save them were unsuccessful, with East Sussex County Council taking what it called the ‘difficult decision’ in March.

On Saturday families gathered at Polegate Library which – located next to Polegate school – was often used by schoolchildren learning to read.

Previously, pupils protested the news of the library’s proposed closure in a spirited march, making their own placards and singing songs in a bid to save it. They were supported by the town’s MP Maria Caulfield.

But despite a number of protests and a public consultation, the decision to close the libraries has gone ahead.

A county council spokesperson said more than 86 per cent of all East Sussex residents will still be within a 20 minute journey time to a library by public transport and more than 99 per cent within a 20 minute journey by car.

This is not necessarily the end for some of the facilities.

Supporters of Langney Library are hoping to create a volunteer-run community library at the site in Langney Shopping Centre. Contact councillor.shuttleworth@eastbourne.gov.uk

And Pevensey Volunteers are fighting to keep Pevensey Bay Library’s current service, while also creating a community hub at the site. Email pevenseyvolunteers@gmail.com