Huw Supports Community Fight to Save Library Services
Local MP, Huw Merriman, joined forces with local communities who want to keep their valued library services at meetings in Pevensey and Hooe last Friday.
Huw joined residents of Hooe for the Council’s mobile library service three-weekly visit to the village. Cllr Pam Doodes, Wealden District Councillor and resident of Hooe, invited Huw to meet regular mobile library users to find out from them first-hand how important this service is to their local community. Residents told Huw that the mobile library service was so much more than just a book lending service. It provided a place and focus for villagers of all generations to meet, allowed families and children without easy access to transport to use the library services and also sign-posts residents to other local services.
Cllr Pam Doodes said “In common with many rural villages, cuts to community and social care services can impact our more vulnerable and elderly residents and place them at greater risk of loneliness and isolation. This can quickly lead to physical and mental health problems. The mobile library service is vital to the rural communities of East Sussex, without it there would certainly be a greater impact on social and healthcare resources for the County. I would urge all residents who use the mobile library to respond to the County Council’s consultation and help us save this vital community service.”
Earlier that day, Huw chaired the newly formed Pevensey Bay Library Action Group to continue its fight to save the local library from closure. Comprising the MP, County and District Councillor, members of both Pevensey and Westham Parish Councils and the Friends of Pevensey Bay Library, the team are aiming to persuade the County Council to continue funding the service. Plans are also being made to find a way of transferring the running of the library by the local community if the funding is withdrawn.
The meeting was also attended by the East Sussex County Council Head of Library Services, Stephen Potter. The issues discussed included funding, the timetable and other matters which will make a difference to keeping the community asset running.
Huw said “The County Council have to save money and as part of this are looking to make savings across all their services, including the libraries. However, I believe that library services should remain a high priority in the Council’s budget.
Pevensey Bay Library and Mobile Library service have been put forward for closure in order to make these savings. From what I have heard from residents today, and as a regular user of the library with my family, I know that these services would be greatly missed and would have a huge impact on the local communities they serve. I would therefore urge all residents who value these services to take part in the Council’s library consultation and ensure that your views are heard.”