12th Nov, 2018

Battle begins to save Droitwich Library as county makes cuts

Harry Leach 2nd Nov, 2018 Updated: 6th Nov, 2018

RESIDENTS are voicing their concerns over a threat to Droitwich Library after Worcestershire County Council launched a 90-day consultation into the future of the service.

The library faces the possibility of closure after county cabinet members made it clear they want to make savings of £1million in the service by 2020-21.

To do that county officers say ‘an approach is required that will substantially transform library service delivery models’.

Worried Shirley Road resident Valerie Jeynes said: “I absolutely rely on the services and we, as a town, cannot afford to see it go.

“I’m visually-impaired so I use the ‘bold print’ books which the library provides for people like me.

“I read so often, I would be lost without it.”

A county survey found that Droitiwich Spa Library was one of the least-used in Worcestershire, finishing just above Pershore and Woodrow in Redditch but drastically below Evesham library.

Wychavon District Councillor Roy Murphy (Conservative, Central), said: “It would be a travesty to lose such an important service in the area. Local people need to speak up and not allow it to happen.”

In a report released last week county officers admitted the next nearest library is more than five miles away.

Alexander Avenue resident Greg Bates, aged 23, said: “It would be a massive shame to lose something so important to Droitwich.

“I use the computers in there regularly and I see a lot of others doing the same.”

The library also runs a Children’s Book Club, offers adult learning courses, is used for business meetings and also holds art exhibitions.

It has free wi-fi and also access to printers, scanners and self-issue terminals.

While a question mark over its value for money means the future of the library is uncertain, steps can be taken to avoid its closure said County Councillor Robin Lunn.

He said: “The review of the countywide Library Service challenges important sites such as Droitwich.

“It is an essential part of the fabric of the local community and must be defended.

“One of the great strengths libraries have is the positive community impact they have for people of all ages.

“This review should not just be about saving the libraries, but ensuring that they flourish in the years ahead.

“I urge everyone to show their support for them.”

To have your say in saving Droitwich Library visit www.worcestershire.gov.uk/libraries

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