Parish councils urged to fund library hours

November 08 2016

CAMPAIGNERS are calling on parish councils to fund additional opening hours in Hanham Library if the proposed cuts in staffing go ahead next year.

CAMPAIGNERS are calling on parish councils to fund additional opening hours in Hanham Library if the proposed cuts in staffing go ahead next year.

Save Hanham Library members addressed both Hanham and Hanham Abbots Parish Councils last week, urging them to find money from their funds to support the facility.

They were due to stage a protest outside the library on November 5 and members were also expected to attend a national demo in London in support of libraries.

The group also wants as many people as possible to attend a public meeting at Kingswood Library on November 10 at 7pm to find out more about the council's plans to cut staffed opening hours at all the district's libraries, including Hanham, Cadbury Heath and Kingswood, while using a swipe card system to enable users to access the libraries out of hours.

This system, known as Open Plus, is being trialled at Bradley Stoke Library and the council is carrying out a consultation exercise before it makes a final decision in the New Year. Abi Unwin, of Save Hanham Library, told Hanham Parish Council that Hanham was the fourth most used library in South Glos yet was having the worst cuts imposed - 37 per cent.

"We see this as retaliation against our community for speaking up," she said.

"Open Plus is a vehicle for enabling cuts, until there is nothing left, while pretending that the situation is getting better. Hanham Library will gradually become an unstaffed, unused building and before we know it, it will be gone if we do not act now."