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Campaigners show support for under-threat Walsall library

Walsall | News | Published:

Campaigners fighting to save Streetly Library from closing due to council cuts attended an event to celebrate its facilities.

Around 300 people came to the library in Blackwood Road to mark National Libraries Day.

Walsall Council, which has to save £86m over the next four years, is still ploughing ahead with plans to close eight libraries, including Streetly, despite thousands of users signing petitions against the move.

Linda McManus, who is part of the Save Streetly Library community campaign group, which has around 750 supporters, said the event on Saturday was held to celebrate the community facility and the good work the librarians do.

The mother-of-two, of Laneside Avenue, Streetly, said: "Bookstart Bear was there, there was singing and craft activities going on.

"It was a lot of fun and it marked National Libraries Day.

"It was a community event and hundreds of people came showing it is a popular resource.

"The atmosphere was buzzing. People were chatting over books with tea, coffee and cakes. It was lovely."

She said the library was 'exceptionally important' to the community and deserved saving.

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Mrs McManus added: "It ensures elderly people are not isolated. There are also toddler groups and reading groups here.

"It's a community hub for Streetly. We have few other services in Streetly allowing people to meet.

"It's been absolutely great the support we've had. We are still campaigning for it to remain open.

"We acknowledge that sometimes it's hard for political parties to step back and overturn their decisions but we hope they will realise that we need these services."

The planned closure date of five libraries – Pheasey, Beechdale, Walsall Wood, Walsall South and Streetly – has been deferred by three months.

They will now close on July 1. Three others, in Rushall, New Invention and Blakenall, after that.

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