A PETITION has been launched against possible plans to close three libraries in Wrexham.
Although the preferred option would be to keep library services as they are, a report going before Wrexham Council’s homes, environment and communities committee today asks members to consider cuts to be made to provide a minimum level of service.
Suggestions include closing Gresford, Brymbo and one of either Cefn Mawr, Rhos or Ruabon libraries.
Other options include cuts to spending on books, reducing opening hours at all libraries by five per cent and cutting the number of computers available to the public.
But Caia Park community councillor Marc Jones, who has launched a petition, said: “It’s such a badly thought out plan.
“Libraries are much more than just a place to read books, they’re a place for children to do their homework, for people to get some peace or to access computers if they haven’t got one at home.
“Both Ruabon and Cefn libraries had a large refurbishment grant from the Welsh Government in 2010 which would need to be repaid.
“At the same time as they’re talking about closing libraries and cutting money for the Kerbcraft scheme they’re talking about putting a glorified sandpit in the town centre.
“I would ask as many people as possible to sign the petition to protect our libraries.”
Cllr David A. Bithell, leader of the Wrexham Independent Group, said: “I am really concerned over this report which potentially could lead to a closure of libraries or reduced services when we have not seen the full detail of the Community Asset Review which is due to be completed in June.
“Libraries are essential to local communities.”
Cefn councillor David Taylor criticised the inclusion of Cefn Mawr library in the list.
He said: “To even contemplate closure of such a necessary and vital resource in this area highlights a basic lack of knowledge and sense.”
Hugh Jones, lead member for communities, partnerships and collaboration, said: “The overall conclusion of the review is that while the preferred approach would be to leave things as they are, it is possible to meet the Public Library Standards while also reducing the level and cost of the service and that this should be carefully considered given the economic situation.”
Anybody who wants to sign the petition should go to www.gopetition.com/petitions/save-our-libraries2.html.