We’ve had some interesting developments lately. On the 21st July 2015, there was a full council meeting to discuss Bristol’s libraries, and the potential closures. Cllr Tim Leaman was going to hand over a petition (separate to the one that Stephen Finch has already handed over), and Ella Davies had submitted a statement to read.
And then, on Friday 17th July, the council appeared to make a huge u-turn, and suggested alternative proposals, whereby no libraries would close, Eastville Library would relocate, and all current libraries would have shorter opening hours. This is not a full plan, as it has been noted that there is not the budget to achieve this, without making cuts from elsewhere. The exact details of this plan (the suggested opening hours, or number of staff retained, for example) have not yet been released. It is also not an agreed plan – merely an alternative proposal, which will later be discussed.
Ben Park and Ella Davies went along to the 21st July full council meeting anyway, and Cllr Tim Leaman was there too. Ella’s statement she had submitted earlier did not now need to be read, so Ella rewrote it to allow for the new changes. However, as there were many, many, other statements put before the council (unrelated to libraries), they ran out of time and Ella didn’t get a chance to speak. She did get a written reply to her original statement however, from Mayor George Ferguson. You can read that here.
We are now awaiting further information from the council. We understand these new proposals will be discussed at the Neighbourhoods Scrutiny Commission on 17th August, then go to Cabinet for the final decision on 1st September.