Petition against library plans

A PETITION bearing more than 1,000 signatures from Innerleithen residents protesting planned changes to the local library service was officially handed over this week to Scottish Borders Council, writes Mark Entwistle.

Last week TheSouthern reported the growing tide of opposition to the proposals from the local authority to merge council contact centres services with local libraries in seven Borders towns – a move that would also see a reduction in opening hours.

But Innerleithen community councillor Tim Clancey and his wife Jane organised a petition against the local authority’s scheme, amid fears that the changes could see the loss of the popular local librarian, Elaine Hogarth.

The 1,034-signature document was handed over to local SBC councillor, Graham Garvie, on Monday night.

Councillor Clancey told us: “We were delighted that so many people signed in such a short space of time. This reflected the strength of feeling for the library as a resource in our local community.

“The people who signed the petition wish to see user friendly hours, the retention of our current librarian Elaine Hogarth, and that the running of the library will continue to be managed by Library Services [SBC].

“The merger of the library with the contact centre is not just a case of the two services sharing a building. The library would be in effect managed wholesale by Customer Services [SBC].”