From: John Pritchett
Willingdon and Jevington Parish Council
I write an open letter to East Sussex County Council as Chairman of Willingdon Residents’ Association, Chairman of Willingdon and Jevington Parish Council and as an individual to protest most strongly about the proposed closure of Willingdon Library, a library which has been in existence in our village since the 1930s.
At a time when we are being told by some of your councillors it will be very easy to get to another library whether by bus or car we hear on the news that Eastbourne is a very dangerous area with increased pollution – 21,000 visits to our library in the past year is 21,000 x 2 more journeys on our busy roads.
The suggestion that the many people, some elderly, some disabled who rely on mobility scooters, students, young children and job seekers, young families struggling to make ends meet, and other families doing their best to keep down household bills by walking or cycling should jump in a car and add to this pollution is disgraceful.
The added cost to East Sussex of the many pensioners in our parish of using their bus passes to get to Eastbourne would mean minimising any savings you expect to make not to mention any health issues that will probably arise because the elderly are denied their library which also acts as a meeting place where they can use the computers or choose their books.
Our library is at the centre of our village hub – within reach of two bus stops if they need to get from the further corners of the parish, a convenience store, hairdressers, butchers, pharmacy, chiropodists, cafe, greengrocers, pub that has coffee/meeting mornings and free parking for those who cannot get to it other than by car – a much shorter journey than having to travel in to Eastbourne or Hampden Park.
Our village centre meets all of their needs in one place.
Recent reports have shown that the buying of books is on the increase and the use of devices such as Kindles for reading is on the decrease.
The children’s corner at our library is extremely popular and the library often holds special activities in the holidays and during the day for pre-school children.
The computers in our library are also heavily used.