Monday, 24 October 2016

More on the Library

The situation with the Library seems to be moving quickly. Here's what James Gibson-Watt had to say on Facebook on the 21st October.

"To put it mildly it looks as though negotiations between Hay Town Council and Powys County Council over the future of Hay Library have not gone well. There is now the very real prospect of Powys CC publishing a statutory notice of its intention to close the library, unless Hay Town Council agrees to take on the running of it and fund half the annual costs by 31st October. This is akin to 'holding a gun to the head' of the Town Council and I and my council group believe the County Council's Cabinet is quite wrong to proceed in this way in Hay and also a number of other towns across Powys. There are a host of unanswered questions still to resolve, e.g. whether Town Councils can legally fund a statutory public facility to this extent and why the 50% burden should fall solely on Hay council taxpayers, since 2/3 of Hay Library users live outside Hay, many of them in England! If a Notice of Closure is issued by Powys CC a period of public consultation will follow. It is vital that as many people as possible respond to that consultation to show their support for Hay library. Public pressure worked well to help save Gwernyfed High School. Let's do it again for Hay Library. The Town of Books without a library? Ridiculous."

Meanwhile, Francoise Verger sent a letter to the Brecon and Radnor, also on the subject of the Library, but when they printed it, they left off the postscript. Here is the letter in full:

"Libraries protected by law

SO "the clock is ticking for a number of small libraries across Powys" which are threatened with closure (Letters, October 12).
Powys and other councils would be well advised to read 'Public Library and Other Stories', by the writer Ali Smith.
On page 42, it is indicated that "the importance of libraries was recognised by the Public Libraries Act 1850 and affirmed by the Public Libraries and Museums Act 1964". These laws clearly mean that public libraries are a statutory service. Therefore councils have a legal duty to provide them.
On the jacket of Ali Smith's book, a quotation by Doris Lessing (Nobel Prize in literature 2007) reminds us that the library "is the most democratic of institutions".

PS This book was published in 2015 and found on the shelves of the Hay-on-Wye library."

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I had an email on October 27th 2016 as I had written to the Portfolio Holder about Hay-on-Wye Library and this seems to be the current position?

"As we have no identified alternatives at this point, we are presently looking at a reduction of library opening hours to allow the local service to operate within 50% of its current budget. This will enable the library to be maintained within Hay, and we can continue to work towards co-locating to the new primary school once it is built, and to explore alternatives around this."

I stand corrected if things have moved on