Friday, May 17, 2013

Egglescliffe Library

Last night’s meeting of Stockton Council's cabinet approved the cuts in Library services that we’ve been expecting.  For the next 12 months or so Egglescliffe will be guaranteed at least 17 hours a week of opening.  That’s a reduction of 50% on our present opening hours, but at least there’s still a library.  It’s a sign of changing times that many people prefer to read from electronic gadgets rather than paper books, and those who like paper books often find that picking up a paper-back in the supermarket is preferable to a special trip to the library.
Egglescliffe library doesn’t have enough people using it for the amount it costs to run and maintain the building.  We’re in the situation of having a sizeable share of our population which uses cars to go most places, and perhaps Yarm or Stockton library is more convenient for them.  But we also have a significant number of older, less mobile people and young children for whom a trip to the Library at Egglescliffe is a lifeline.  
Stockton Council would like to cut their costs by finding a more suitable location.  Perhaps if they’d thought ahead they could have included a newer build on the new Junction Farm School extension but it’s too late for that now.  They had their sights set on the Allen’s West development but that’s at least 10 years away if it’s ever built.  
Meanwhile, use it or lose it is the catch phrase. 

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