Labour and Lib Dems pulling together to save Sutton Coldfield Library
There are just three weeks remaining to have your say on Birmingham City Council’s plans to close Sutton Coldfield Library as part of its city-wide restructuring of the service. To have your voice heard visit the Birmingham City Council Be Heard website and take part in the consultation at www.birminghambeheard.org.uk/place/community-libraries/consult_view
Meanwhile, Labour and Liberal Democrats in Sutton Coldfield have joined forces in campaigning against the closure of the Royal Town’s library. While each of the parties has its own petition against the closure, they have agreed a coordinated approach to presenting these to Birmingham City Council at their forthcoming Council meeting on Tuesday 10th January, along with a third petition from Unison.
Jenny Wilkinson, Vice-Chair of the Liberal Democrats in Sutton and local activist, said:
“As soon as I heard about the City Council’s proposals, I was determined to act to save the library. As well as setting up the petition and heading out on the streets to collect signatures, I established a Facebook group as a focal point for campaigners to gather and this has since evolved into the non-politically-affiliated campaign group The Library Lobby, which is now leading the response of local residents to the plans. I passionately believe that it would be outrageous for a town the size of Sutton Coldfield to be left without a library at its heart – it is a precious resource for us all that must be saved.”
Manish Puri, a Labour Councillor for Sutton Vesey on the Royal Sutton Coldfield Town Council, commented:
“I believed the proposal to close Sutton Coldfield’s Town library needed to be met with a broad-based community response and was heartened to be able to work together with Jenny, The Library Lobby, Friends of Birmingham Library, UNISON and so many others in this inspiring campaign. I created my petition to articulate the current and historic importance of the library to our town but also the future potential which would be lost if the library were to close. I hope Sutton Coldfield and Birmingham can pull together the will and resources to firstly retain the library, but more importantly to then fashion a library service fit for the 21st century.”
The three petitions combined have in excess of 3,400 signatures and Manish and Jenny are hoping to add to these before the submission next week.
Manish’s petition can be found at you.38degrees.org.uk/petitions/keep-library-services-open-in-royal-sutton-coldfield-town-centre, should you wish to add your signature. The Liberal Democrat petition is in paper copy only but please contact firstname.lastname@example.org to sign.
A fourth online petition created by Sutton Coldfield Conservatives is also available at: www.change.org/p/birmingham-city-council-save-sutton-coldfield-libraries
To keep up-to-date on the work of the Library Lobby campaign group visit thelibrarylobby.org.uk