Councillors that made the decision to close 16 libraries in Fife are facing condemnation across the UK.
The 9 Labour councilors, and 2 former labour councilors now running as ‘independents’, voted to close 16 libraries on the 7th December.
Author Ian Rankin highlighted that the Bowhill Library that is going to close was a ‘refuge and a place of constant wonder’.
He further adds “I learned so much from those books, and can still smell the dark wood panelling, I was back there a few weeks ago. The interior was much changed – smaller and less maze-like than I remembered – but it was still a place of wonder, as all libraries should be.”
Val McDermid, an author who grew up in poverty highlights how the public library system helped her to become a writer and states “Frankly, I would not be a writer if it were not for the public library system”
“In Fife we have a library built with Andrew Carnegie’s money – those industrialists understood the value of educating people. These are the things we are losing. These are the things we are throwing away.’
Four SNP MPs have now filed an early day motion in parliament calling on Fife Council to reverse the decision that the four MPs ‘deplore’.
Crossgates Community Council have spoken publicly about the closure of Crossgates library, with chairman Robert Arnott stating “It seems that once again a consultation process has been done and the views of the village and residents have been ignored.”
“The local officials and elected members do not seem to realise that they are there to do what the villagers want, not the other way round.”
Crossgates Community Council warned councillors, which includes our two local councilors; Mark Hood and Linda Erskine, to “back the people of the local community in their fight to keep it open – or face the consequences at the ballot box”
Eleven Fife councillors have now requested that the closures be re-examined by Fife’s education, health and social care scrutiny committee, which was instigated by Lib-Dem councilor Tim Brett.
The closures will be re-examined by the scrutiny committee on the 5th January.
Photo Credits: Keep Fife Libraries Open (Facebook Page)