Residents of Irlam and Cadishead made it clear yesterday that they totally disapproved of Salford Council's plans to reduce opening hours and service at Cadishead and Irlam libraries, while adding a new library at Fit City Irlam.
When asked questions on the moves, Council reps couldn't answer questions either on the new opening hours, nor what the actual cost savings were by reducing hours and relocating the service.
"It wasn't really a consultation because they didn't seem to know anything" says Cadishead resident Gaynor Heaton "A proper consultation is where you ask residents for their views, listen and then come back with ideas. Here they just told us what was planned.
"We all just made it clear that we didn't agree with what they were proposing" she adds "There were two councillors there and I hope that they listened and will now vote against the proposals – which is what they should do if they are our representatives."
As well as reducing hours and services at the two libraries, the other proposals are for a new library to be added to Fit City Irlam, and for Fit City Cadishead to be transferred to a `voluntary sector organisation'. Again, the proposals attracted a hostile reaction.
"Apparently they've got some sports money to do with the Olympics to build the library at Irlam but it just doesn't make sense" says Gaynor "Since when did libraries come under sports – unless there's a new Olympic medal for `Fastest Book Reading'?"
Other residents complained that the amount of money saved would be negligible, that kids would have to travel further to the library and that the proposed extension of Fit City Irlam was on green belt land.
"If they've listened to us, the answer is `No'!" Gaynor concludes "And I hope the councillors are going to vote against these plans when the decision is made."
That decision should be made tomorrow (Wednesday March 2nd) when Salford Council ratifies its budget for the next financial year.
There is a demonstration against all the cuts outside the Salford Council meeting tomorrow, Wednesday 2nd March at noon (see here)
Photo by Phil Hamer
See videos of the meeting at Cadishead Library here: http://www.youtube.com/user/salfordhart