Here’s how you can help save our library

The land was donated in the 1930s. It’s a beautiful building, and a well-used community resource that’s right on our doorstep: in Bitterne Park we have no other community centre. Now the Council is proposing to shut it down. Time is very short to oppose this. Here’s what you can do to help save Bitterne Park’s library.

• support press calls listed on this site as they happen

• write to
David Baldwin at: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. Or: David Baldwin, Library Office, Central Library, Civic Centre, Southampton, SO14 7LW. Please be polite, and say why you think we should keep our library. If you're really stuck for inspiration there is an outline letter template here,in Word format, which you can edit to make your own.
Tel: 023 8083 4645. The closing date for comments is February 28.

• if you do nothing else, write to David Baldwin. But you may also wish to copy letters to Councillor Sollitt - Cabinet Member for Leisure and Culture, to your local Bitterne Park councillors, and to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. (please include your name and address).

• download
flyers here, a poster here, and a petition here, and tell your neighbours and friends what the Council is proposing — include those that don’t have access to the internet. If you'd like to help with leafleting and petitioning, see our other article here, to help avoid duplication.

 • sign the petition - either download it and get your neighbours to complete the rest of the sheet, or your neighbours can visit McColls on the Triangle to sign it. If you run a business, maybe you could keep petitions available too?

• attend and speak at Council meetings

The meetings that matter

To keep our library, it's essential that members of the public, and especially representatives of groups that use the library, attend, and are willing to speak at specific forthcoming Council meetings. Otherwise, they will almost certainly close it down! Bitterne Park councillors have pledged to attend these meetings, to assist us through the proceedings if required.

Monday March 5
3pm, Council Chamber, Civic Centre
This is the key meeting to attend, as Cabinet will be consulting with the public. It is vital that as many members of the public, including representatives of interested community groups, come along and are willing to speak. No need to make an appointment: just turn up to the Civic Centre and ask for the Council Chamber!

And no need to be intimidated: although it takes place in the Council Chamber it’s not a full council meeting but Cabinet, which consists of just seven people. Other interested parties may also be present. You can write down what you want to say in advance — you are only likely to get a few minutes to speak at the most.

There will only be a limited amount of time for members of the public to make their case, so you may want to drop This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. a line in advance to let them know you’d like to speak. That will help them allow enough time for public contributions.

Monday March 19
3pm, Council Chamber, Civic Centre
Cabinet makes its decision. You can attend this meeting but member of the public are not able to speak.

And then we’ll find out if we’re allowed to keep our library!

Also coming up:
Wednesday February 14

1.30-2pm, Civic Centre steps
A lobby is due to take place before the Council Budget setting meeting on the front steps of the Civic Centre by UNISON to protest against the proposed privatisation of some council services, and this year's budget cuts. UNISON have invited library closure campaigners to join them. The budget meeting is due to start at 2pm in the Council Chamber, so any campaigner would be free to sit in on it in the public gallery.

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