Issues surrounding Surrey County Council plans for the future of the library service have been raised at County Hall twice in the past two weeks.
Last week (19 July 2011) a motion was raised by Councillor Eber Kington at the Council meeting (2hr 35mins), requesting that “the Council Leader and Cabinet… halt the current plans of removing staff from the selected libraries until the ongoing audit into this study is fully completed and the detailed results are made available for discussion”. The motion was rejected by the Council.
Today, a lobby was held outside County Hall. At a rough estimate there were about 80 people in attendance. Many were from the 11 libraries that will be affected by the changes, but there were also campaign supporters from other local libraries. They gathered before the Cabinet meeting began, in the hope that members of the Council in attendance would take note of campaigners concerns. A number of speakers, including local library users/campaigners, UNISON representatives and author and campaigner Alan Gibbons spoke passionately about the need for libraries on both a local and national scale.
During the Cabinet meeting today another question was raised by a member of the public, regarding concerns about the current proposals for the library service. Again, their concerns were rejected by Surrey County Council Cabinet.