Library campaign receives support

The Friends of Cullercoats Library group has made posters. All pictures by Joanna Bates.
The Friends of Cullercoats Library group has made posters. All pictures by Joanna Bates.

The campaign to save Cullercoats Library from a cut to its opening hours has attracted a lot of support from the local community.

More than 200 Valentine cards to the library – mostly hand-made – are currently on display inside The Salt House Brasserie on the sea-front.

Hand-crafted hearts form part of the display inside The Salt House Brasserie.

Hand-crafted hearts form part of the display inside The Salt House Brasserie.

There are also a number of library poems from Cullercoats residents and from people as far afield as Glastonbury and Edinburgh, more than 300 hand-crafted hearts and a wishing tree where members of the public can pledge their own messages of support.

If the proposed 2018/19 North Tyneside Council budget is approved at a meeting this evening, there will be reduced opening hours at libraries across the borough as one of the ways the local authority has identified to make essential savings.

Cullercoats Library would lose half a day of its three days a week opening.

The Friends of Cullercoats Library group organised a petition and posters and recent activities included outdoor yarn bombing.

A section of the outdoor yarn bombing activity by the Friends of Cullercoats Library group.

A section of the outdoor yarn bombing activity by the Friends of Cullercoats Library group.

Cullercoats Primary School supports the campaign.

Year 5 teacher Wendy Smith-Parr said: “Cullercoats Library is a massive part of life in our school and community. We regularly take classes to visit and borrow books.

“We feel so strongly about this issue that all children in school wrote a letter expressing their concern and our school councillors delivered them to the council offices at the Cobalt.”

Norma Redfearn, Elected Mayor of North Tyneside, said: “When I became Elected Mayor in 2013, I was faced with proposals to close six branch libraries. I stopped those closures and continued to support and invest in the borough’s libraries network.

One of the messages from those supporting the campaign.

One of the messages from those supporting the campaign.

“The proposals we are considering now include a minimum reduction in opening hours to keep all 14 libraries open and run our mobile service, while managing our budget challenges.

“I am keen to hear from any residents who would like to get more involved in the running of their local library or other community service.”

For more information about the campaign, email friendsofcullercoatslibrary@yahoo.com