Parents protest against planned library closures

Photo by Lyndsey Cambridge
Photo by Lyndsey Cambridge

Angry parents have staged a protest at the county council offices against the proposed library closures.

Toddlers in buggies, parents with placards and local politicians stood their ground at County Hall in Lewes this morning (Tuesday), writes Lyndsey Cambridge.

Councillors handing in petitions at County Hall

Councillors handing in petitions at County Hall

Mother of three Danielle Budden, of Polegate, said: “It is really shocking and heartbreaking that they are considering closing our library. We have been going there for nine years now.

“Story time and rhyme time are really well attended, it’s about getting out there, it’s vital for our young children.”

Eastbourne MP Stephen Lloyd is supporting the ‘save our library’ campaign and urged the council to re-consider their cost saving outlines.

Joined by Eastbourne councillors Alan Shuttleworth, Colin Swansborough and Pat Rodohan, he presented petitions and letters from residents protesting against plans to close Langney and Willingdon libraries.

Mr Lloyd said, “From the moment I heard East Sussex County Council were planning to close Langney and Willingdon libraries, I knew the public would support my absolute opposition to the plans. And they have across our town, for which I am very grateful.

“I hope that County Hall recognises the strength of public opinion against the library closures, and commits to keeping them open long into the future.”

Councillor Swansborough said, “It was a pleasure to receive these petitions which represent all those across Eastbourne and Willingdon fighting the closure of our much-loved libraries.

“As the County Council scrutiny chair, I will keep the pressure on the Tory County Council to make sure they listen to the view of the public; the people who put them there!”

And councillor Alan Shuttlesworth, County Councillor for Langney, said, “As a teacher for many years, and with my current responsibilities shadowing education and schools in our county, I know the value of libraries.

“For the County Council to even consider their closure is simply wrong. We will fight them every inch of the way!’

The consultation runs until December 14 and residents can still take part in the council’s survey by visiting https://consultation.eastsussex.gov.uk/economy-transport-environment/draft-strategy/