Report from meeting on 17th November 2010

Friends of Gloucestershire Libraries Group

Meeting notes

Wednesday 17th November 2010

  • Several new members were in attendance as was Councillor Mike Skinner (Lib Dem, St. Peters  St. Pauls and St. Marks), bringing the attendance figure to around 30. 11 others had sent their apologies.
  • The group considered the Council’s proposals, outlined in the following document: http://www.gloucestershire.gov.uk/index.cfm?articleid=101356. Key issues raised include the following:
    • Unlike Buckinghamshire CC, GCC will not be supporting any community run libraries with allowing links to their library management system
    • The consultation response rate of those expressing that they would be happy for libraries to close or reduce their opening hours was extremely poor and only represents 0.86% of the total population of Gloucestershire
    • The level of cuts aimed at libraries is disproportionate to the cuts overall. Cuts of 28% need to be made over four years across GCC services, yet libraries are facing 43% of cuts within one year
    • There is no recognition of the interconnection of library services with services to the elderly and housebound, children, those with learning difficulties and the unemployed.
  • Group roles were discussed and the following agreed:
    • Publicity officers – L.Co. and A.G.
    • Information officers – J.O. and L.C.
    • Secretary – E.L.B. and N.M.
    • Vice-Chair – N.G.
    • Role of Treasurer still unfilled – group members open to volunteer for this role
  • Actions agreed:
    • Information officers to collate publicly available factual information on libraries
    • J.A. and L.P. to attend Martin Horwood (MP, Cheltenham) surgery (ALL Cheltenham group members to suggest questions)
    • E.L.B. and L.C. to attend Richard Graham (MP, Gloucester) surgery (ALL Gloucester group members to suggest questions)
    • L.C. to use Cheltenham Literature Festival contact to gain support
    • Neil to draft letter to send to local authors
    • Nancy to set up a page on website to include authors and others messages of support
    • L.C. to attend Labour Party meeting on Friday to raise the issue
    • N.G. And J.A. to contact the Forest Voluntary Action Forum for suggestions on linking up with groups in the forest area.
  • The next group meeting is planned to take place on Wednesday 1st December, Local History Room, Cheltenham Library at 7pm. All are welcome.
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