25 Feb 2014
Katrina Dalziel (q.v. https://twitter.com/dalziel1) on Twitter tweeted;
Swansea Council’s Budget feedback goes online – City & County of Swansea swansea.gov.uk/index.cfm?articleid=57696title= >> reprieve for Pennard Library for now
As was mentioned in a previous post (January 2013), the National Assembly of Wales – back in November 2013 – invited organisations and residents etc in Wales, to submit written comments to them in respect of Public Libraries in Wales.
Such comments – of which there appear to have been approximately thirty-two (32) from an eclectic mix of Councils, Charities, Libraries, Associations and Individuals – have been appended (in both pdf and html formats) on the National Assembly for Wales website at http://www.senedd.assemblywales.org/mgIssueHistoryHome.aspx?IId=8295 where they also can be read.
Of the thirty-two comments received, three of them relate to the Swansea Local Authority’s area; one being the Pennard Library Working Group’s response to the Inquiry, one being the City and County of Swansea’s response, and one being an individual’s response (which relates to a different library, but does contain some wording of relevance to several libraries within the Swansea area).
Swansea Council Budget proposals unveiled
………”The report to Cabinet states that next year the Council needs to make savings of around £26m because of a reduction of £12m in Welsh Government funding and more than £14m of extra spending pressures.
The savings programme includes tightly-controlling spending, continuing to drive down management and business costs, increasing income, doing things differently, working with others, providing more services online and encouraging people to help themselves.
The key elements of the report to Cabinet next week include:
• A new £300,000 Community Transformation Fund to provide business planning support to groups who want to set up their own community services.
• The proposed closure of Pennard Library to be put on hold to allow for further discussions and a review of library services.”
City & County of Swansea’s Swansea Libraries website
According to the information on the above CCoS website, “Pontarddulais Library will be closed from Monday 3 March 2014 to Saturday 15 March 2014, due to essential building maintenance. It will re-open on Monday 17 March 2014. Please accept our apologies for any inconvenience this may cause. Please contact Library Line 01792 636464 for further details.”
Whilst by itself the wording of the article doesn’t appear to contain anything of note, as soon as one realises that in January 2014 Steve Hardman, Head of Libraries at City & County of Swansea stated that he “hasn’t had a budget for building maintenance since 2004“, makes the phrase “Pontarddulais Library will be closed”….”due to essential building maintenance“, extremely ‘suspect’, as one can’t help wondering not only where the £money came from for the “essential maintenance“, but also that if there was indeed £money available for Pontarddulais, how and why wasn’t it available for other Libraries who have been denied any form of maintenance for the last 10 years!