Community's fight to save old library goes online
RESIDENTS fighting to save a Port Talbot listed building from closure have set up a petition.
Taibach Library — which is part of the Richard Burton trail — is one of nine libraries Neath Port Talbot Council is proposing to close in a bid to save more than £238,000.
Council bosses have said that many of the library buildings are no longer fit for purpose — with the total cost identified by the asset plan in 2010 for condition and access work being £2.9 million.
Taibach Library has been identified as in the worst condition — grade D.
An e-petition has now been launched calling for the listed building on Commercial Road to remain open.
Resident Darren Elkins, who started the campaign, said: "I am starting this petition for one reason only, to stop the proposed closure.
"The building itself is historical and shouldn't be left to be sold or turned into flats."
Lynne Rees, who originally hails from the town, said the library was built in 1916.
"The funding for the library came from Carnegie new library funding from Scottish-American businessman and philanthropist Andrew Carnegie," she said.
Ms Rees said she hoped that something would be done to keep the facility — which is a point of interest on the Richard Burton childhood trail — available for the community to use.
"If the library closes and did not become a public amenity it would be tragic," she said.
"There is a big area around Taibach.
"I would like the council to look outside the box, and for it to stay open even as a joint venture.
"Let us it as a library or partly as a library and rent the rest out privately.
"We have got this wonderful architecture.
"Lets keep it rather that let it be sold off."
The council is currently holding a consultation on the proposals.
It is also proposed to change the mobile library from a two-week to a three-week cycle, so it can cover a wider area to include some of the areas subject to library closures.
Alternative methods and formers of service delivery also include an enhanced home delivery service, relocation of existing libraries, deposit collections, volunteer run libraries, community run libraries and partnership with community councils.
Comments on the proposals can be made via email to email@example.com or can be made in writing to head of partnership and community development, Russell Ward at Library headquarters, Reginald Street, Port Talbot, SA13 1YY.
The consultation will run until Monday, December 2.
Visit neath-porttalbot- consult.limehouse.co.uk/portal/ elll/library/library_service.
To sign the petition visit epetitions.direct.gov.uk/ petitions/55167.