Tuesday, 20 December 2011

OCC approves library proposal: Botley Library Saved!

At a meeting on 12th December Oxfordshire County Council’s Cabinet approved their library restructuring plan. At the centre of this is a core of 22 libraries, which would remain fully staffed in order to provide a comprehensive and efficient library service. BOTLEY LIBRARY IS ON THIS CORE LIST which will see Botley Library remain open, run by trained staff as requested in the petition which we all signed earlier this year!! Although all 43 of Oxfordshire’s libraries will remain open, the other 21 will need to provide up to half of their staff through volunteers.

This is a remarkable turn-around from where we were last December when OCC announced that Botley would be one of 20 libraries that would have all council funding withdrawn. Thanks to all of the support from the local community we have been able though our petition; speaking at Council Library meetings; local events (including a local author book day in the Library) and completion of Consultation Forms, to get Botley Library included in the core group.

We could not have managed to do this with all of the fantastic support that we have had from the local community – so a big thank you to all of you who have supported the Library campaign. On your behalf I would also like to thank all of the members of the Save Botley Library Steering Group for their hard work since this was formed after the public meeting last February. They have given up many hours of their time to organise and support all of the events above. This has been a fantastic community effort to save our local library and we should all be pleased with and proud of what has been achieved.

However our work is not fully completed since the proposed Botley Redevelopment will see the Library needing to move to a new location. The new premises must provide a suitable environment for a modern library and be located at the centre of our community. This is something for which your support is likely to be needed again in 2012. But in the meantime please celebrate the success of saving Botley Library!

Mike Sage
Chair, Steering Group
Save Botley Library Campaign

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