Harlow Alliance party offer solution to library crisis

News / Mon 3rd May 2021 am31 11:09am

THE HARLOW Alliance Party has offered their “solution” to the challenges facing libraries across the town.

A spokesperson said: “Save our Libraries Essex has, to date, failed to publish our response to the prospect of changes to the library service across Essex, despite publishing the responses from other political parties.

For the benefit of readers, we made a clear policy statement on our website as long ago as December 2018. We take the view that this type of public service cannot rely on volunteers.

Whilst other parties offer no real solution to keeping libraries open other than to provide more money or stop any proposal to reduce funding, we believe that the future of libraries require changes that would see many becoming community hubs, where, space permitting, other public services would be provided. We understand that such changes have been made in other parts of Essex and if elected in Harlow we would seek to get some of the services provided by Harlow Council decentralised into the libraries in the neighbourhood shopping centres.

There are several benefits to this approach; increasing footfall into the shopping centres helping to support shopkeepers, increasing footfall into the libraries, providing services to those who do not have access to a computer and or printer when needing to fill in forms and finally, sharing the costs to maintain the buildings and paying staffing salaries.

In 2018 we carried out a short survey of residents using two of the neighbourhood shopping centres, which showed there was overwhelming support for the return of some council services being provided in these centres.

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