Labour Cllrs Steve Allsopp and Fay Howard proposed a motion to allow the Save Parks Petition to be heard after the Council Leader David Renard had originally ruled that the petition could not be read at the Council meeting.
The petiton, organised by Parks Community Forum, had collected over 1100 signatures calling for the library to be saved. Martin Wicks from the Forum was allowed to speak after Labour called for normal procedure to be suspended. He told the council: “You cannot have a library without professional staff and they require council funding. The decisions you take have social consequence. Closing parks library will impoverish an already impoverished community”
Proposing the motion, Walcot and Park North Cllr Steve Allsopp said:
“Parks library is different. Significant parts of wards served fall in lowest decile of deprivation and skills and education indices. The majority of children in our ward enter primary school from homes with no books in them.
23 school heads have asked council to reconsider plans to close libraries. Remove the rungs and the ladder becomes a greasy pole.
I have used the library for many years. I just hope that we don't deny this opportunity to children now growing up in the ward.”
Unfortunately, after another passionate debate, the Tory Council would only agree to consider the petition amongst other submissions to its Library Consultation process at its Cabinet meeting December 9th and we await a decision on the fate of the libray.