7 July 2016

Swindon Area Green Party members have reacted with dismay to Swindon Borough Council’s plan to stop funding 11 libraries across the borough within the next year. The plans would leave just four of Swindon’s 15 libraries open unless other providers step in.

“Parish Councils and community groups had been waiting to hear what options they would be offered, and now it’s clear they have none,” said Swindon Greens spokesperson and Wroughton resident Talis Kimberley-Fairbourn. “Volunteers and community groups are already stretched to capacity, but if they don’t find a way to keep a service going, thousands of families will no longer have a library within walking distance.”

“It’s short-sighted and will be hugely damaging to communities and to the social and educational environment of our children,” said Talis. “Besides encouraging literacy and a love of the arts, and being a hub for community information and identity, libraries offer essential internet facilities to jobseekers and benefit applicants. It’s ludicrous to suppose that four libraries will be able to meet the needs of the whole of Swindon.

“People here are angry and saddened by this news. It’s not as if there is an infinite bucket of volunteer time to call on.”

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