A PETITION has been launched urging Bristol City Council to lift the threat to the Central Library.
Mayor Marvin Rees is considering moving the service and selling off the Grade 1 listed building on College Green. It’s part of a package including cuts to other library services across the city to try to save £1.4 million as the council looks to make massive savings.
A plan to relocate the library and reduce other services in 2018 was ditched after an outcry. Now Bristol’s Liberal Democrats have started the petition against the latest proposed cuts.
Lib Dem Councillor for Hotwells & Harbourside Alex Hartley said: “I’m so disappointed that once again the Mayor is targeting services in Hotwells & Harbourside. The Central Library is a renowned and listed library in the centre of Bristol, that has been here for 116 years. I will do everything I can to fight this closure, and I hope local residents will join me in this fight by signing our petition.
Former MP for Bristol West, Stephen Williams, said: “It’s hard to imagine Bristol without this superb facility. Selling it off for a less appropriate use and relocating it to a worse location and almost certainly downgraded size would be a travesty. The Mayor has got a fight on his hands if he thinks he can get away with this act of cultural vandalism.”
Parks, transport and care homes could also face major budget savings next year, according to a consultation asking how the council should try to balance its books. Council tax is likely to go up next April, adding further pressure on people struggling with the cost of living.
Mr Rees said: “Councils are underfunded and the government shows no partnership with city leaders to design services and places that support people in this financial crisis. As a result, we have to balance a substantial shortfall in our funding and we must make the council smaller, do less and focus on our priorities, while making yet further efficiencies.”
Draft proposals for the council’s finances from April will be put forward this before councillors sign off the final budget in February.
A link to the petition can be found at bristollibdems.org/save_central_library