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Wolverhampton library closure plan is overturned

Wolverhampton | News | Published:

There was delight and dismay after the controversial future of Wolverhampton's libraries was argued over at a stormy meeting of the city council.

Council chiefs scrapped plans to close Penn Library, which was a major victory for the two mothers who spearheaded the campaign to keep the facility open.

Anita Zammit and Maria Bradburn could not have been happier after their campaign emerged victorious.

Mrs Bradburn, a 39-year-old businesswoman and mother of two, revealed: "This is just wonderful. I am truly delighted at the outcome.

"Neither of us had ever done anything like this before but we could not see our community decimated - so we went for it."

Mrs Zammit, a near neighbour in Alexandra Road, Penn, who has thee children and is a podiatrist, added: "We are just ecstatic and overjoyed that all the months of hard work have paid off.

"We had no option but to fight long and hard. It seems like we have devoted every minute of every day to the cause since we started the campaign at the end of June."

Penn acting librarian Mrs Jean Crooks, who has worked in the library service for over 20 years, said: "I am truly delighted at the outcome. The sheer determination of the two ladies who spearheaded this campaign was amazing. They both worked so hard."

Mrs Anna Michalski, who has worked as a library assistant at Penn for seven years, commented: "I have dreamed and prayed that this would happen but there were moments when I began to doubt whether the voice of the people of Penn would be heard."

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Less pleased were members of the Wolverhampton Citizens Action Group whose 3,300-signature petition calling for the entire community hub project to be scrapped will merely be "noted" and "recorded" in the analysis of public consultation over the scheme that will be finalised next month.

Their spokesman Jim Macfarlaine said they were considering applying for a Judicial Review in a bid to block the proposals claiming two key components of the consultation process – a strategic review and a needs analysis – had not been fulfilled.

Its lead petitioner Pru Coleman, aged 41 from Finchfield stormed: "There are now over 17,000 signatures on petitions against the council's proposals to create community hubs. What part of 'no' does the council not understand?"

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