Skip to main content

To: Herefordshire Council

Save Herefordshire Libraries

Halt all planned cuts to our libraries and museum services forthwith. A halt to cutting Herefordshire's library and museum budget, reducing opening hours and replacing staff with volunteers; and the denigration of services previously provided, for instance inter-library lending. Volunteer run libraries can not provide a comprehensive and efficient library service for all persons in the area that want to make use of it, as required by the Public Libraries and Museum's Act.

Why is this important?

As you may know we raised nearly 10,000 signatures previously and will raise even more this time if they fail to get the message. Our libraries should be off-limits to all corporate destruction! .
Following the initial success, we are well aware the battle is not yet over as the impact assessment forms produced by HCC are a complete travesty, along with consultation guides which still include the original proposal in disguise. This battle continues ....

The amazing response to this campaign forced the Tory led cabinet to bring this issue to a full council meeting on the 24th May 2013. A little victory in itself.

Volunteers can assist, but not run libraries or museums. For example it requires 18 volunteers to keep Peterchurch Library open for 10 hours per week. Further denigration of services, for instance the cancellation of inter-library lending, have since been introduced without consultation, continuing the secrecy operated by the council cabinet. Illegal under the 1964 act.

We apparently have three Turner paintings in the county ... do you think these paintings that belong to us the people should be sold off into the hands of private enterprise? We don't!

Many people, of all ages and from all backgrounds, are adversely affected when a local library is closed:
• As well as a place from which to borrow books, the local library provides information and free ICT. It’s a place to meet friends and join social activities such as, reading groups, bounce & rhyme sessions, storytelling sessions etc.
• Children need libraries to support their literacy and reading development. The library also provides them with a place to study, with staff that can help them with their homework.The Summer Reading
Challenge ensures that children continue to develop their reading skills during the long summer break.
• There are many people, especially the elderly, and those living alone, who value the opportunity offered by the library and its staff, for conversation and companionship.
• The local library is a place where vulnerable members of the community feel safe and receive support.
• There are very few indoor, public spaces which are warm and welcoming, where one can linger without spending money.
• People visit the local library if they need help; for example with form filling, letter writing, using ICT, or when they need information that they are unable to find elsewhere. There are still large numbers of people who do not have access to IT, other than in their local library.
• Job seekers, make use of the library’s ICT to look for and apply for jobs; they also borrow books on job seeking techniques, writing CVs, interview skills etc., and books to help them improve their work based skills. An economic downturn is the worst time to close libraries.
• When Universal Credit is introduced applications will have to be made online, those without computers at home will need to make use of ICT in their local library.
• Many visitors to the county use the libraries for tourist information; they also value the ICT for communicating with friends and family back home and for printing airline, coach and train tickets for their return journeys.
• The provision of ‘Books on Prescription’ supports the work of the health service.
• Researchers in, Family and Local History rely on the library to provide them with the relevant source materials.

Hereford Library has been closed to the public for 3 months, due to asbestos problems, long known about. One might legitimately ask why they started interfering with the building when already armed with that knowledge.

The temporary library is not fit for purpose due to the lack of study space, computer facilities, space for children's activities, homework facilities etc.

Herefordshire council is no longer providing the people of Hereford with a 'comprehensive' library service as required by the Public Libraries & Museums Act 1964:
http://bit.ly/1Oz7fcK

It is surely time to ask Ed Vaizey, Minister of State for Culture Media and Sport, and Jesse Norman local MP and chair of the DCMS committee, to intervene.

Contact details for Ed Vaizey: http://bit.ly/1TRuLlt
and Jesse Norman : http://bit.ly/1NAwJpn

Please share with all who are missing their library service.

How it will be delivered

To be confirmed

Herefordshire

Maps © Stamen; Data © OSM and contributors, ODbL


Reasons for signing

  • I love libraries
  • It's important not too lose this resource
  • I'm a librarian who retired on my own terms, many haven't been able to do that in recent years.

Updates

2018-04-26 20:03:31 +0100

A new campaign is taking off and we ask you all to support this as our services are in even more danger .... We will keep this page open until people catch up with the new one. See the post immediately below this one. Meanwhile follow this link and sign the new re-worded petition.
https://you.38degrees.org.uk/petitions/stop-the-privatisation-of-herefordshire-s-libraries-museums-and-archives

2018-04-26 20:00:30 +0100

Once again a temporary lull occurred (disguised as a reprieve) and the energy dissipated out of this campaign (but not support as in a consultation libraries came out on top as the most important provision by the council).
NOW A NEW PLOT DEVELOPED:
Another proposal to privatise yet another aspect of the nation's silver. As any rewording of petitions can be troublesome we now ask you to support a new one started by the local government branch of Unison
https://you.38degrees.org.uk/petitions/stop-the-privatisation-of-herefordshire-s-libraries-museums-and-archives?

At a time when there is much evidence to suggest that other local authorities are having to take these services back in-house due to the failure of private companies to run them effectively, we need to control and safeguard the future cultural service provision for our community, particularly for our children, young people, and isolated, vulnerable groups, such as elderly and disabled people.

2016-10-05 23:20:13 +0100

Please arrange to join the protest being organized in front of Shire Hall, Hereford, on Thursday 13th October from 1.00 p.m. onwards. Come along and meet lots of like minded library users and make your voice heard.

Herefordshire Council’s Cabinet is meeting on that day, at 2 pm in the Shire Hall, to consider a range of options to save substantial sums of money from the library and customer services budget.

Let's show them more cuts are NOT AN OPTION!

2016-10-05 23:18:08 +0100

The main threat is to the market town libraries, whose services will continue be severely threatened, and smaller libraries like that at Belmont whose operation will be passed to the Parish Council.

Hereford appears least affected, (HLUG is maintaining continuous pressure on the Council to stick to their target of re-opening in early in 2017) but the cuts include a continuing restraint of book and journal purchases, and there is likely to be a still further reduction in the availability of expert staff.

2016-10-05 23:16:50 +0100

At the Council Scrutiny Committee Meeting held last week, four options for library cuts were up for review. Option 3 was favoured and is estimated to save £510k. While this retains the libraries in a reduced form, there will be no customer services provision other than at Hereford Library once this re-opens next year. Option 4, described as an ‘enhanced service’ anticipates a more diverse offer, combining library and customer services with staff trained to provide advice on ‘well being and early help’. Option 4 is estimated to save £90k less, but HLUG believe this will provide the most enduring, popular and forward looking service for all the community; one that can adapt to future need and growth.

2016-10-05 23:16:02 +0100

Libraries under threat – again!

Hereford 30th September: Hereford Library Users Group (HLUG) urges all those concerned by the steady erosion of libraries as the single most important cohesive force for learning, health and public participation of all kinds, to join the protest being organized in front of Shire Hall, Hereford, on Thursday 13th October from 1.00 p.m. onwards. Come along and meet lots of like minded library users and make your voice heard.

Herefordshire Council’s Cabinet is meeting on that day, at 2 pm in the Shire Hall, to consider a range of options to save substantial sums of money from the library and customer services budget.

2016-10-05 23:13:26 +0100

THE IMPORTANCE OF HOME DELIVERY SERVICE:
If only politicians and the powers that be who continue to cut valuable services could consider these deserving people, many in rural and isolated places as more than just a number or a cost!! They are people and I for one will never stop caring for them in my own little way and the whatever way we can with the service we provide - it's not much on the face of it but invaluable in far more ways that I can ever express unless I take you out and show you.
###
The testimony of a wonderful librarian, who is only to be praised.

2016-08-01 14:18:44 +0100

https://www.herefordshire.gov.uk/leisure-and-culture/libraries/library-survey-june-2016

2016-08-01 14:18:30 +0100

5th August is the closing date, so with all the distractions of holiday time don't let this opportunity slip past you.
William McMorran, Chair of HLUG, urges the whole community in Hereford City and the County to overwhelmingly respond to the Council Library and Customer Services User and Non User Surveys. Survey forms can be found by visiting the Council Website,
https://www.herefordshire.gov.uk/leisure-and-culture/libraries/library-survey-june-2016

your local library or simply entering ‘Hereford Library Survey’ into a search engine.
HLUG fears that this survey is designed to find a way of justifying further cataclysmic service reductions over the next three years. A budget of £2.8m in 2010/11 will be effectively reduced to £1.45m, and probably even less by 2019.

2016-07-16 16:17:49 +0100

'Ministry of Imagination' were responsible for the now extremely popular ‘Chocolate Factory’ which comprehensively redeveloped an old chocolate making building into a centre for inspiration, knowledge, knowledge sharing and knowledge creation for the whole community in the town of Gouda. The concept of learning and learning by social participation offers a way of rethinking libraries and communities for the future.

A comprehensive refit at Broad Street will create a similar modern community resource for people of all ages, that will become a powerful force for economic and social regeneration in Hereford city centre and throughout the County.
Come support our libraries, and 'grow your brain.' :-)

2016-07-16 16:05:46 +0100

In order to make clear that these immensely important centres for learning and wellbeing are to be absolutely supported by the Council, HLUG encourages everyone to NOT TICK the CHECK BOXES but INSTEAD MAKE POLITE COMMENTS in the boxes where an opinion is invited.

The key boxes are titled ‘Other Reason’, ‘Other’ and ‘Further Detail’ and it is into these that there is the opportunity for everyone, young and old, to confirm the importance of maintaining these services, explaining how they might be improved and expanded to meet local need more effectively and to support the aim of the Rankin Centre project as a County wide hub integrated with a reconstituted local network of library and customer service centres, museums and arts initiatives.

2016-07-16 16:03:20 +0100

William McMorran, Chair of HLUG, urges the whole community in Hereford City and the County to overwhelmingly respond to the Council Library and Customer Services User and Non User Surveys. Survey forms can be found by visiting the Council Website,
https://www.herefordshire.gov.uk/leisure-and-culture/libraries/library-survey-june-2016
your local library or simply entering ‘Hereford Library Survey’ into a search engine.
HLUG fears that this survey is designed to find a way of justifying further cataclysmic service reductions over the next three years. A budget of £2.8m in 2010/11 will be effectively reduced to £1.45m, and probably even less by 2019.

2016-05-10 00:09:34 +0100

Following on from the presentation there have been many behind the scenes developments, before arriving at the cabinet meeting on 9th May 2016 where more encouraging developments were unveiled and the Report to cabinet unanimously supported. Here is a Post cabinet meeting interview with William McMorran of Hereford Library Users Group.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yAZBnd1MxCI

2016-01-29 11:25:52 +0000

https://hlug.wordpress.com/

2016-01-29 11:23:40 +0000

TONIGHT:
A public meeting chaired by Jesse Norman, MP for Hereford and South Herefordshire, is to take place to discuss the proposals at 6pm Friday January 29 at the Museum Resource Centre on Friar Street, Hereford
Hereford Times report ...
AMBITIOUS plans have been put forward to transform Hereford library into a modern community hub to serve the whole county.

Details of Hereford Library Users Group (HLUG)'s plans to revolutionise the city's Broad Street library by changing its interior entirely are detailed in a new 16-page document.
http://www.herefordtimes.com/news/14222340.Ambitious_plans_put_forward_to_transform_Hereford_Library_into_modern_community_hub/

2015-12-07 13:35:38 +0000

Hereford Library has been closed to the public for 3 months due to an asbestos problem which was long known about. One may legitimately question why the work was begun, interfering with the structure of the building, when the presence of asbestos was already known and thus releasing it to the atmosphere..

The temporary library is not fit for purpose due to the lack of study space, computer facilities, space for children's activities, homework facilities etc.

Herefordshire Council is no longer providing the people of Hereford with a 'comprehensive' library service as required by the Public Libraries & Museums Act 1964:
http://bit.ly/1Oz7fcK

It is surely time to ask Ed Vaizey, Minister of State for Culture Media and Sport, and Jesse Norman, local MP and chair of the DCMS committee, to intervene.

Contact details for Ed Vaizey: http://bit.ly/1TRuLlt
and Jesse Norman : http://bit.ly/1NAwJpn

Please share with all who are missing their library service.

2015-08-12 09:22:54 +0100

1,000 signatures reached

2015-08-11 17:05:22 +0100

500 signatures reached

2015-07-30 15:47:06 +0100

100 signatures reached

2015-07-26 09:41:09 +0100

50 signatures reached

2015-07-25 20:09:00 +0100

25 signatures reached

2015-07-25 18:34:25 +0100

10 signatures reached

2015-07-25 13:34:48 +0100

Having raised nearly 10,000 signatures on a previous occasion, we find ourselves back in a familiar place again.