THIS WEEK WESTHAM COMMUNITY NEWS: Our beloved village pond

COMMUNITY Langney Community Library: Grand Opening

BUSINESS Media Release: Art Gallery for the Bay

This is the full statement that I sent to the Observer yesterday. They edited it slightly. I think Keith Glazier & Co. might also receive a copy.

“”It is with real sadness and anger that we learned that the Cabinet at East Sussex County Council is recommended to go ahead with the proposed closure of 7 libraries including Ore.

The consultation has been shown to be sham as many people predicted. Despite the 1500-signature petition and hundreds of other objections to the closure of Ore library alone, the response shows they have not taken on board any of the points raised.

They acknowledge that Ore library serves some of the poorest communities in the County but insist that everybody lives within a 20-minute drive or 30-minute bus ride of Hastings Central library. That’s of no use to the more than 30% of residents of Baird, Ore and Tressell wards who don’t own a car or who would have to choose between buying a family bus ticket into town or feeding their family.

Schools quite rightly encourage parents to read with their young children but how can they do that without the variety and quantity of books that only a local library can provide?

They boast about the new, improved eLibrary service which is great for those with access to a home computer and the internet but not for those who need the computers at Ore library to do so.

For many older people, the short walk to the local library is their one reason to get out of the house and make personal contact with another person. Closing the library can only increase their isolation with all that entails in terms of mental and physical health and well-being.

They talk of an “improved outreach offer” at East Hastings Children’s Centre which requires a long walk down a very steep hill and back. And what does this mean?

This is the officer’s recommendation to Cabinet but it is Keith Glazier and his 7 Cabinet colleagues who will make the decision on Tuesday 6th March. They still have the chance to show that they understand the needs and wishes of the people who elected them. I’m not holding my breath, however.”

Richard Street