On Wednesday 12th December the Trustees of Tattenhams Community Library were told that the library is under threat of 50% budget cuts or could even face closure. The deadline for responses is 4th January 2019!
The Library faced cuts 6 years ago when local people fought hard to keep this integral service and part of our community open. It boasts a capable and enthusiatsic team of more than 70 volunteers keeping its costs minimal. The service provided by the library reaches out and benefits the young and the elderly alike, not just providing access to books but much more:
Dedicated volunteers from the library team visit Rosebery Manor to take in a mobile library
Pupils from Shawley Community Primary School and Epsom Downs Primary School visit the library as part of the curriculum, encouraging access to books for
enjoyment and fostering a sense of being within a community
The library plays host to rhyme time for mums and toddlers
The library plays host to talks and lectures from historians and writers
Free access to IT facilities is essential to many who do not have access to the internet or computers at home
Photocopying facilities for convenience
Tattenhams Community Librrary plays an integral part in all Tattenham Corner Community events
For many older and elderly people the Library provides a social aspect to their week, popping in to change their books and engage in social interation
The library is conveniently located near a bus stop, the parade of shops, a train station for access from Tadworth and Kingswood, and the doctors. To close our
library and demand our community travel to a library further afield, will be taking away the rights of many to have access to such facilities as Tattenhams
Community Library offers. To close this library would mean depriving some people in our community of literary amd IT access.
In a day and age where we all rely on technologies to access information, the library provides an alternative. To engage with words on a page, to turn a page in
anticipation of what is about to unfold in a plot, to feel the paper in your hand, to feel the weight of the book and all the wonderous adventures, mysteries or
knowledge it will share with us, is far more an experience than reading words on a screen and is an experience that needs to be preserved for generations to
How to have your say
The deadline for responses in 4th January so not long for our word to be heard.
There is a consultation in progress, which can be found on line at the home page of Surrey County Council . The website address is www.surreycc.gov.uk.
You can fill in a hard copy questionnaire and mail using a freepost enevlope available at the library.
Given the Christmas post and impending deadline, if you would prefer to send a letter, we recommend it is sent as an attachment to an email to:
Comments you might care to make
The online questiionnaire appears quite biased and seems to point towards a decision to close smaller libraries. Therefore writing your own letter rather than completing the restricting questionnaire may allow better freedom of speech and for your opinions to be better voiced.
There is a downloadable exemplar response which has been drafted by the Steering Commitee of the Tattenhams Community Library. You may wish to draw upon it , but it would be most helpful to make the points in your own words and from a personal point of view.
The council outlines strategic principles in their online consultation information and it helps if in your letter you can address how saving our library actually fits in and benefits their strategic principles - use their own criteria to prove our library staying open is their best option.
Ensure in your letter you share your personal experience of the library, Why it is important to you and others in our community. Why would closing it be detrimental to yourself and others. Focus on all the facilites and services the library offers. How being in the vicinity of the health centre, post office, hair salons, convenience stores, butchers and residential area, make the location of the library convenient and central to the community.
The council needs to consider the views of a wide demographic and to ensure the consultation is statistically sound, so it is important you give some background to yourself (age category, street of residence/locality to the library, working/retired/student/family household, how often you use the library, how you travel to the library etc...)
PLEASE ENCOURAGE FRIENDS AND FAMILY TO RESPOND TO THE CONSULTATION EITHER BY THE ONLINE QUESTIONNAIRE OR PREFERABLY BY EMAIL/LETTER.
IF YOU BELONG TO A LOCAL ORGANISATION/BUSINESS PERHAPS YOU COULD ASK IF THE ORGANISATION/BUSINESS WOULD BE WILLING TO WRITE IN AND SAVE OUR LIBRARY?