I would like to highlight the fantastic work being done by the Friends of Ecclesfield Library.
This group was formed in November, following the outcry about the threatened closure of their library. At the city council’s budget meeting on March 7, the ruling Labour party once again voted against budget plans proposed by the Liberal Democrats which could have saved all 16 threatened libraries across the city. This is in spite of the council being owed nearly £30 million in unpaid council tax as well as an additional £1.5 million they are putting aside to protect the council’s reserves. When you compare this against the total savings the council will make by removing funding from libraries (£900,000), it makes you question their priorities.
People across both East and West Ecclesfield value their library both as a focal point for community groups and as a library. Unfortunately, it appears that the council do not share this view and the only way to keep it open is for volunteers to run it.
I know many groups are doing all they can to try to preserve their libraries from this unjust council cutback; the Friends of Ecclesfield library are now meeting every Wednesday in the library, to explore what action they can take. I would urge everyone to support them.