Pennard Library needs your help now. We need 50+ emails / letters to be sent to all local politicians asking them to assist FoPL in any way they can to: a) obtain a 99 year lease at peppercorn rent on the current site of the library and b) to urge the council to continue to pay for a library service in Pennard.
If you do send an email, or write a letter, please can you let us know? You might like to use the sample letter below – or write your own message. Please act today.
The FoPL Committee
Dear Ministers, Assembly Members and Parliamentary Candidates,
email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org, Bethan.Jenkins@wales.gov.uk, Margaret.Hazell@assembly.wales, Byron.Davies@assembly.wales, Peter.Black@assembly.wales, email@example.com, Julie.James@wales.gov.uk, firstname.lastname@example.org,email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org
As you know, Friends of Pennard Library (FoPL) is raisng grants independently to build a new library / community hub for Gower (we currently have £122k in principle and our target is £350k). The hub would have a cafe and exhibition / IT space to rent out to various groups, and thus generate an income to run the library building and make a contribution to staffing the library – this is exactly the kind of community partnership model recommended by the Expert Review of Welsh Libraries 2014.
Please can you do all you can to help Friends of Pennard Library obtain a 99 year lease at peppercorn rent on the current site of the library? This is proving difficult to otain.
Can you also encourage the Leader of Swansea City Council, Cllr Rob Stewart, and the Cabinet Member for Regeneration, Cllr Robert Francis Davies, to continue to pay for a library service in Pennard? As you know, Pennard Library serves all of South Gower, and without it many could not access the library service at all, there now being no mobile library unit.
Further, the reasons for the cabinet member reneging on former promises made by his predecessor appear to be purely political. He has said:“It’s a pity you live where you live.” Thus, it appears that the withdrawal of the service from Gower is because of our postcodes. We have been repeatedly told by the council leader and the cabinet member that the west of Swansea is better serviced than the east in terms of libraries – which has also been reported in the press. This is incorrect. There are five libraries in the west and 12 in the east. The buildings in the east, generally, are in better condition and opening times are longer etc.
In short, FoPL have been blocked every step of the way – especially by the current cabinet member and the leader. The stance of: “It’s a pity that you live where you live” has been poorly received by Gower residents, who feel short-changed and marginalised by this attitude.