Council denied campaign library meeting space

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Despite what Coun Mazher Iqbal said (Star, December 27) the facts are that the Save Park Library campaign group was given a booking to use the library for its last meeting before Christmas and agreements were made to pay for any out-of- hours overhead costs and to shut the building if the meeting went on beyond closing time.

When managers told us the day before the meeting that we were banned from using the library space, our representative called senior staff at Central Library for an explanation.

Our booking arrangement covered payment for extra costs. But when management withdrew the use of the space, our opposition to the council’s library closure policy was given as the explanation.

To deny our campaign the right to meet in the library where the council is handing out consultation documents for its closure goes against the political freedoms on which this country is built. It is a scandal that the Labour Party, which was built on those freedoms, should now be closing them down to enforce a Tory programme of austerity cuts.

Public libraries in this city were first set up to advance literacy, learning and skills for all. They are as essential today as they were when they were formed. We shall continue to fight hard against the closure of 16 public libraries by this council.

Nick Howard

Save Park Library Campaign