National Assembly for Wales Inquiry re Public Libraries (in Wales)

In late November 2013, the National Assembly for Wales commenced an “Inquiry into Public Libraries” when it posted online a letter stating “The National Assembly for Wales’ Communities, Equality and Local Government Committee is to undertake a short inquiry into public libraries in Wales“, and went on to say “To assist with its inquiry, the Committee would welcome your views on the following matters:

  • The extent to which progress has been made by the Welsh Government towards achieving its Programme for Government commitments relating to libraries, and how sustainable any progress is in the current climate;
  • The extent to which the current legislative and policy frameworks are suitable to meet the challenges facing local authorities delivering library services in Wales;
  • How well-prepared the Welsh Government and local authorities are to mitigate the impact of public sector cuts on library services;
  • Options for improving the financial sustainability of library services, including alternative models of provision;
  • The contemporary and community role of public libraries in Wales.

Invitation to contribute to the inquiry
The Committee welcomes responses in English or Welsh from both individuals and organisations and will hold oral evidence sessions in due course.”

N.B.  To read the National Assembly for Wales’ original letter in full, please see http://www.senedd.assemblywales.org/documents/s21921/Consultation%20letter.pdf

Pennard Library

Pennard Library

Unfortunately, the Pennard Library Working Group only found out about the said ‘Inquiry’ in early January 2014, and as all replies had to be submitted to the ‘Communities, Equality and Local Government Committee [at the] National Assembly for Wales, Cardiff’ by 17 January 2014 latest, a reply was quickly formulated and sent.

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Campaign launched to keep Pennard Library

12 DEC 2013
Campaign launched to keep Pennard Library  By Amy Downward

Pennard Library

Pennard Library

From: South Wales Evening Post; Thursday December 12, 2013
http://www.southwales-eveningpost.co.uk/Campaign-launched-Pennard-Library/story-20315747-detail/story.html

COMMUNITY figures are campaigning to keep a Gower library open which has been earmarked for change under Swansea Council’s budget proposals.  Pennard Community Council have set up a Facebook page, and public meetings have been organised to co-ordinate opposition.  Pennard Library hosts seven classes a week from the neighbouring primary school and has a programme that helps the unemployed back into work.   Bethan Jenkins, Plaid Cymru AM for South Wales West, who is supporting the campaign, said:   “This is a well-loved and well-used library.  It makes no sense for Swansea council to be targeting Pennard when there is nothing close by, and nothing else on the peninsula.”  Arthur Rogers, chairman of Pennard Community Council, said:   “We as a council are determined to stop the closure of this much valued facility.   Swansea council is promoting Swansea as UK city of learning.   So closing this library and effectively ending public access to this kind of facility really sits at odds with that.”  Pennard and Swansea councillor Lynda James said residents where very angry and the library had a high number of users.  Councillor Nick Bradley, Swansea Council’s cabinet member for regeneration, said:   “We’re having to make savings of £45 million over three years but we’re doing all we can to protect the library service.  “No decisions have been made.   The proposal for Pennard Library is to transfer it to a community-led volunteer service which would mean the majority of library services currently offered there would continue to be available.”  Save Pennard Library meetings will take place on Saturday, December 14, 2:30pm, Pennard Community Hall, Tuesday, December 17, 7pm, Southgate County Club and Thursday, December 19, 7pm, Beaufort Arms, Kittle.