Challenge to Labour Group

24/09/2014

CONCERNED: Cllr Ian Johnson (right) with Cllr Nic Hodges, chair of the Vale of Glamorgan's Lifelong Learning Scrutiny Committee


The ruling Labour group will be challenged by Plaid Cymru councillors who have insisted on a public debate over the future of libraries at the next full Vale Council meeting.  Councillor Ian Johnson Plaid Cymru councillor for Barry, has expressed his opposition to cuts to opening hours and creating volunteer library services.

Plaid Cymru councillor Ian Johnson said:

“The Vale of Glamorgan library service is a very successful part of the council, with more visits, more books taken out and higher satisfaction ratings than the Welsh average.  I am therefore very concerned by the proposals to slash the number of hours at the county’s major libraries, including a 22 per cent cut at Barry Library. This will make it impossible for anybody to use the library if they cannot get to the town centre in the middle of the day, including those who work outside of Barry or college students who are on their courses.

“Five libraries, including Dinas Powys and Rhoose, will be run by volunteers if these plans are implemented. A recent scrutiny committee meeting told councillors that around 50 volunteers will be required per volunteer library, but no plans are yet in place if this number of volunteers can be found. Many people feel misled by a Vale Council consultation that asked for volunteers to help the library service last year. Those people thought that they were being asked to assist in making a better service, not replace full time and trained library staff.

“Plaid Cymru does not support these changes because we think they will lead to a worse than expected service and are unsustainable in the long run.”