- Posted by: Joyce Watson MS
- Category: Feature
Joyce Watson, the Labour Assembly member for Mid and West Wales, is urging people to have their say on the future of Gwynedd’s libraries.
A consultation asking people for their views on how to run the county’s library services will be carried out over the next few months, between May and the end of July, Gwynedd Council has announced.
The Council claims the current service is “not sustainable,” as it looks to make savings of up to £50m over the next three years.
The AM’s intervention was prompted by Harlech residents who contacted her following media reports that the town’s library has been earmarked for closure.
In a letter to Caernarfon Councillor Ioan Thomas, who has responsibility for libraries, Mrs Watson asked him to confirm or deny the rumours.
Joyce Watson AM wrote:
“I hope you will be able to confirm to me that this is not the case. As you will know, residents in Harlech already feel that they have lost a number of important local services.”
Mr Thomas declined to “pre-empt the conclusion of the consultation and decision process with the public, library users and staff.” He replied:
“No decision has been taken to close Harlech library or to cease providing a library service for the community. The aim of any changes in provision would be to ensure the appropriate level of service for the community within the budget available to the service. These changes are likely to affect the standard of library services in all areas of Gwynedd – rural and urban.”
According to media reports, eight of Gwynedd’s 17 council-run libraries could be forced to shut as the council looks to balance the books. It is understood those open fewer than 20 hours a week are most at risk. These includes Bala, Bethesda, Criccieth, Deiniolen, Harlech, Llanberis, Nefyn, Penrhyndeudraeth and Penygroes.