I HEAR with concern of the planned closure of Stow Hill Library, where I worked in the 1980s.

“The closure of the library will enable us to continue to offer an excellent service,” George Orwell’s 1984 is alive and well at Newport City Council The closure will be detrimental to the independence of many elderly and disabled people, who would sooner visit the local library under their own steam rather than arrange bus, taxi or mini-bus journeys to the town centre.

When I worked there, Stow Hill had a vibrant community, but it is becoming a depressing district of abandoned units, charity shops and take-aways. Its downturn saddens and disappoints me. The council, like others, is facing huge cutbacks in central government funding. However, I cannot understand why this facility should be closed when the council has launched new initiatives, such an unwanted and under-used library at Tredegar House.

If the council believes that the BookExpress service is an adequate replacement, I wonder that there are any libraries at all left in Newport.

Trevor Bently St Paul’s Court Reading