Protests take place at first Swansea Council public budget consultation

20 DEC 2013
Protests take place at first Swansea Council public budget consultation by Amy Downward
From: South Wales Evening Post; Friday December 20, 2013
http://www.southwales-eveningpost.co.uk/Protests-place-Swansea-Council-public-budget/story-20348863-detail/story.html
THE first of a series of public consultations on Swansea Council proposals attracted more than 20 residents on Thursday night.  Cabinet members and senior officers were on hand at a public drop-in session at West Cross Community Centre to discuss proposals about libraries, culture and tourism.  It was the first of four themed sessions being staged over the next few weeks about proposals aimed at making £45m in budget savings over the next three years.  Residents and council members attended the consultation to protest against the proposed changes to Pennard Library.  Bethan Jenkins, Plaid Cymru AM for South Wales West, said:  “This protest shows the depth of feeling I am getting from people about these plans.  “I hope that this display of people power convinces cabinet members to go back to the drawing board and think in greater detail about how they make reductions.”

Councillor Nick Bradley, cabinet member for regeneration, said:   “It was great to see so many people there taking an interest.  “I wanted to reassure people that no decisions on any proposals have been made. “What we want to do is listen to our residents and take their views into account first.”   He said Thursday’s drop-in session showed residents value the services the council provides and also understand the financial challenges are not of its making.  He said: “There were some valuable discussions, particularly about libraries and Pennard Library. “My message to residents of Pennard is that if they are interested in taking over the management of library services in their community we want to work with them to see what can be achieved.  “We haven’t made any decisions and we aren’t proposing to reduce non-statutory services like many other councils have done; we’re aiming to create a smarter, leaner and more efficient council.  “If these proposals are approved we’ll be spending £1.5m a day in Swansea supporting communities and the local economy.”

Three further public drop-in sessions on adult services, education and young people and community and transport issues are planned for early in the New Year.

There will also be meetings with key stakeholder groups prior to the consultation closing date on January 22.

Senior managers at Swansea Council are also engaging with trades unions and staff on the savings proposals.

It is anticipated the final decisions on the proposals will be made when cabinet reports to a meeting of full council in February.

Online consultation was launched last week at www.swansea.gov.uk/sustainableswansea

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Hundreds of people attend Pennard Library closure plan meetings

19 DEC 2013

Hundreds of people attend Pennard Library closure plan meetings

From: South Wales Evening Post; Thursday December 19, 2013
http://www.southwales-eveningpost.co.uk/Hundreds-people-attend-Pennard-Library-closure/story-20343549-detail/story.html
and
200 show library concern
From: South Wales Evening Post; Thursday December 19, 2013 (page 12)
Around 200 people have attended meetings about the proposed closure of Pennard Library, with several of them planning to quiz senior Swansea Council figures today.

Pennard Library

Pennard Library

Pennard community councillor Lynda James said the library was the hub of a close community and that its future had aroused strong feelings.  She said she was expecting a decent South Gower turnout at a budget consultation event at West Cross Community Centre at 5pm this afternoon.

“The majority want to fight the closure” said Mrs James,

Closing the library would save the authority £36,4000 [sic: £36,400]  –  part of a series of proposals to save the authority £25million next financial year.

“People do appreciate the difficult times we live in,” said Mrs James.  “The people of Pennard are intelligent and well-educated, but they think that it (the proposed closure) is being pushed too quickly.”

She added that local people could be receptive to discussions about maintaining the library as community-run “in some format”.

Another meeting about the planned closure takes place at 7pm at Kittle’s Beaufort Inn.

The council said it looked forward to hearing the community’s views.

Booker Prize celebration

24Sep2011

Booker Prize celebration

By South Wales Evening Post  |  Posted: September 24, 2011
http://www.southwales-eveningpost.co.uk/Booker-Prize-celebration/story-13395814-detail/story.html

PENNARD Library Reading Group is celebrating after being chosen to take part in this year’s Booker Prize competition.

Pennard Library

Pennard Library

The group, just one of six to have been selected in the UK and the only one from Wales, will be given all books nominated for this year’s prize and give their views on each one to the competition judges.
The group will also have the chance to travel to London to meet the nominated authors in October.
The Booker Prize winner will be announced at a lavish ceremony on Tuesday, October 18.