Save Rushey Mead Library & Community Centre

21st January, 2017

image1The campaign to save the Library and Community Centre in Rushey Mead moved up a gear today when over a 100 people met to protest about the closure.

Despite clear opposition in the consultation and protests from the Ward councillors Cllr Kirk Master (Assistant Mayor responsible for the closure) has decided to close the Library and move in into the community centre.

Cllrs Ross Willmott and Mo Chohan (Belgrave ward) were invited to the protest and spoke againt the Council’s proposals. We both thanked all these local people for coming out on a very cold day and for all their efforts to keep the Library and Centre.

The Council is proposing to put the library into the Recreation Centre. Close the library building and sell it off, or demolish it. This is the worst of all possible worlds. The local community loses a small but popular and valuable library as there is not the room in the Recreation Centre to have the Library and at the same time for it to be used by community groups. The many community groups who use the Recreation Centre will no longer be able to. There just isn’t enough room and a Zumba keep fit group is hardly a good companion to children trying to study!

IMG_5470Both the Library and Recreation centre are very well used. The Rec Centre brought in an income of £9000 last year which when deducted from its running costs of £11000 meant it only cost £2000 to run for a whole year. The Library costs around £14000 to run a year. Moving the Library into the Rec Centre risks losing this income as there simply won’t be room or there will be too much noise.

So the saving to the council is a lot less than it is claimed to be, once this income is lost.

Local people would like the council to continue to run both the Library and the Centre. However they did recognise that savings have to be found as the Tory government has cut the council’s budget. They suggested that the Recreation centre be transferred to the communty (as as been agreed in other parts of the City). This would produce a small saving and keep both buildings open. This suggestion has been rejected by the council. Local people are rightly angry and do not feel listened to. They said in the meeting “what is the point of voting for a Labour mayor and councillors if they don’t listen” Ross explained that he was confident they would listen and the petition would give them the opportunity to put their case.

Ross met with Keith Vaz on Friday 20th Jan to explain to him why the council proposals were unworkable. he agreed and could not understand why the council was not listening to local people. This followed a meeting that Keith Vaz attended in December last year.

Local people are gathering signatures on a petition which should mean this decision will be debated at a Full Council meeting.

We are all hoping that Cllr Master will have a change of mind as he did with Belgrave Library.

Petitions to sign are available at all the shops next to the Library.

I will keep you updated through my Blog.

If you want to get involved in the campaign or sign the petition call Jotie on 07988033234

Cllrs in Clarendon Park have just launched a campaign to save their library we wish them luck and will be supporting their efforts.

ps I am pleased to say that in response to the rumours that a deal had already been done for a group to occupy the Library if it is closed, Assistant Mayor Cllr Piara Singh Clair has made it clear that there is no such deal. Cllr Clair is also one of the Rushey Mead councillors.


Rushey Mead Library


Rushey Mead Recreation Centre

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