Tuesday, 3 May 2011

Save Botley Library campaign update- election edition

Although Oxfordshire County Council announced in March that they had “torn-up” their proposals to end funding to 20 of the county’s libraries, this does not mean that Botley Library is safe from having its funding withdrawn. The Council are “rethinking” their library policy through a Public Consultation from mid-May until September, to determine how they can achieve the cost savings from the budget that was passed on 15th February. So the Save Botley Library Campaign continues and we will shortly let you know more about the Consultation and the events we will be having through the summer while this is running. Maximising the number of people completing the Consultation and telling the Council that we want Botley Library to remain open run by trained staff and librarians is essential to achieving this objective.

In the meantime we have the local council elections on Thursday 5th May and a number of the Save Botley Library Steering Group (Neil Clark, Ag MacKeith, Andrew Pritchard among others) will be standing for North Hinksey Parish Council seats. In addition our Vice-Chair, Neil Clark, will be standing as an Independent candidate in the election for the North Hinksey and Wytham Ward of the Vale of White Horse District Council. We thought it important to find out where each of the Vale DC candidates stands regarding funding for the library and the provision of space for it in the proposed Botley redevelopment so we have asked them all to reply to the following questions:

Do you support the campaign to keep Botley Library open, run by trained staff and librarians? If so, what form of support would you propose to provide to ensure that this objective is achieved?

If elected, what would you do to ensure that proposed redevelopment of the Botley shopping precinct includes provision to house the library, in a space that is at least as big as the existing facilities (and preferably larger)

We have received responses from the majority of candidates in the Ward, all of which indicate their support for keeping the library open and providing space for it in the Botley redevelopment. However we urge you to read the full text of the responses which we have published on our website. You may also wish to question candidates yourself to ensure that you are clear about their position on the Botley Library before you vote on the 5th.

Thanks to all your support we have helped to get Oxfordshire County Council to backtrack on the potential Library closure list published in November. We now need to prepare ourselves to make our opinions clear to OCC through the Public Consultation; which it is vital that we all complete if we are to Save Botley Library.