Meeting to save Stow Hill library ‘too late’ – says councillor
A PUBLIC meeting calling for a city library to be saved is too late to change the decision to shut it and is misleading, it was claimed.
Debbie Wilcox, Newport council Labour cabinet member for leisure and culture, said a meeting over Stow Hill library at the Newport Civic Centre at 7pm tomorrow night will mislead the public.
Organisers have hit back - saying that 800 people had signed a petition against the move and the decision already taken to close it can be reversed.
The meeting has been organised by campaigner and historian Alan Roderick, in conjunction with the Tory Allt-yr-yn councillors.
While the matter was consulted on with the public, it was not part of the overall 2013/14 budget consultation launched late last year.
Cllr Wilcox said: “Calling this meeting will only serve to mislead our residents and raise expectations when the decision on this matter has already been taken and in an open and transparent manner.
"We are fortunate that we have so many libraries in the city and Stow Hill is extremely close to central library which has the widest offer of library and information services in Newport."
She said the response to the consultation was excellent and she read every response.
However, Mr Roderick said he has collected 800 signatures against the closure from across the area the library serves. He said a number of people had told him that they knew nothing about it.
"I don't think it will mislead the public. This is not political at all. I don't want to indulge in any mudslinging," he said.
He previously said that the library was the only amenity the area had.
Cllr David Fouweather, who represents Allt-yr-yn, said decisions can be reversed - with the previous Tory/Lib Dem administration having done so over its decision to shut Austin Friars toilets.
Cllr Fouweather said: "It's a misleading statement from a desperate cabinet member who finds herself in difficulty. If she carries on the way she does she won't have a portfolio to manage."