Library campaigners ask minister for local inquiry

sculptureSouthampton library campaigners have written to John Whittingdale, secretary of state for culture, media and sport, requesting a local inquiry into library provision in the city – in a move backed by Itchen's MP Royston Smith (Con).


sculpture taking  book out 300pxFive out of eleven Southampton libraries, as well as the mobile library, will have council funding cut from April 2016.

The future of each one looks at best shaky, and for some at least, the future is likely to be non-existent,” said a statement from campaigners.


Southampton City Council claim that groups have come forward and aim to provide volunteer run libraries but the members of Cobbett Road Library Friends Group as well as many other library users and groups from other libraries do not see this as a sustainable option... especially with the costings involved and the lack of suitable volunteers with time available.”

'Council should have done more'

Royston Smith welcomed the letter to the government minister.

“I believe the Council should have done more and can do more to support these libraries to ensure they stay open," he said.

"It just does not seem right to threaten closure if an alternative provider is not found in a relatively short few months. The Council can keep these libraries open within existing budgets and I hope they will consider doing so if their proposed alternatives do not succeed. To this end I welcome the move by library campaigners to write to the Minister John Whittingdale highlighting the approach of the City Council and would welcome a local enquiry.

Reaction on Twitter:

We're not currently accepting new comments on this site

Please help us keep publishing - for less than the cost of a 'posh' coffee a month... 

WE'RE READER POWERED! Our local news is currently free to view, but not to produce. Join people just like you who already chip in to keep our site going by becoming a 'Good Friend' supporter for just £2.50 a month (less than the price of most 'posh' coffees) - or more if you can.

Use the subscribe button below using a debit or credit card securely via PayPal. You don't need a PayPal account - just use the "Pay with Debit or Credit Card' option, when you click the 'Subscribe' button below, on the next screen. There's no obligation to open a PayPal account. Or use your existing PayPal account if you prefer. Or even better, contact us to set up a standing order so we get all your sub rather than PayPal taking a percentage.

Click here for other options/to set up a standing order - and help us keep on keeping on.

It's appreciated!

Friend Options


Alternatively make a one-off donation here - you don't need a PayPal account for this option either.