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Save Ewell Court Library!

February 12, 2006 10:55 AM
Ewell Court House

Loss of the Library would jeopardise the survival of Ewell Court House itself

Amongst the cuts in Surrey County Council front line services proposed by the Conservatives' "BDR review" is the closure of 6 local libraries, including the one in Ewell Court House. Its loss would not only be a blow to library users who find it more convenient than the alternatives at Stoneleigh, Bourne Hall or the Ebbisham Centre, it would also put at jeopardy the survival of Ewell Court House itself, recently rescued by the volunteers of ECHO from plans to turn it into flats, proposed by Epsom & Ewell's RA controlled council.

By contrast, the Liberal Democrat policy commitment to local libraries in our manifesto for last year's County Council elections states: "The Liberal Democrat group on Surrey County aims to:

  • Keep libraries in public ownership.
  • Protect local libraries from closure.
  • Increase the number of books available at Surrey's libraries."

The Liberal Democrats were the only group to vote against a recent Conservative resolution welcoming the BDR review. They also voted against the Conservatives' budget proposals for 2006/2007 which rely on service cuts.

Lib Dem County Councillor Colin Taylor explained: "The BDR review has failed to make savings where they are needed and instead has proposed cuts in front-line services. This has happened because the consultants hired by the Executive were briefed to achieve CPA excellence for the County, rather than do what Surrey residents actually want and need."

He commented: "Once again it was disappointing to find RA councillors failing to vote against the Conservative proposals, even though they say they support keeping Ewell Court library open."

Lib Dem Councillor Nigel Pavey is a member of the Friends of Ewell Court Library and is working with them to present their case against closure. He said: "It makes no sense to close this popular facility, especially as even the BDR review admits that the aim is not to save money, only to meet a CPA target imposed by the Labour government."