Ealing Council is proposing to make cuts of ￡1.14million. This means it will ceasing to manage Greenford, Hanwell, Perivale, Northfields, Pisthanger, West Ealing and Wood End libraries. Unless local groups come forward to manage these libraries, they will close.
Ealing Council’s Solution
The Council expects local groups volunteering to run the libraries to provide ‘community offers’ such as story times for children, opening for a specified number of hours and doing an enormous amount of fundraising. The consultation suggests local groups would need to raise around ￡15k – ￡30k per year to meet annual running costs, though the exact figures are unclear.
Ealing Green Party is concerned this is not feasible and libraries will close. Libraries provide a safe space for children and adults to read and study. They offer free access to computers and the internet which is critical now that even many public services are ‘digital by default’. They also draw people to local town centres which benefits the shops, cafes and other businesses in the area.
What you can do
The Ealing Green Party is opposing the cuts and would urge you to do the same by:
- Writing to your local councilors with your views. They are listed on the Council website: https://www.ealing.gov.uk/info/201044/councillors
- Encouraging your families, friends and social networks to join the campaign
- Signing the Save Ealing Libraries petition at: https://www.change.org/p/save-ealing-libraries-from-being-outsourced-from-being-managed-by-community-volunteers-save-library-jobs
- There is also a petition to save Hanwell Library specifically: https://www.gopetition.com/petitions/save-hanwell-library-2019.html
- Responding to the Council’s consultation by Friday 17 May 2019. You can access it on the Ealing Council website or get a copy at your local library. https://www.ealing.gov.uk/info/201042/current_consultations/2548/have_your_say_on_the_draft_ealing_library_strategy
- Or email firstname.lastname@example.org with your views instead.
- Attending the Save Ealing Libraries March on Saturday 25 May.
More details to follow!
Article written by Jane Humphreys