Alarm bells started to ring for the Nationalists when a report put before Falkirk Council indicated that the Falkirk Community Trust were considering relocating the library to either the new Forth Valley College Campus at Middlefield or the site of the new council headquarters.
Speaking after the meeting that approved the building of a new £21m council HQ by the Provost’s casting vote SNP Group Leader, Cecil Meiklejohn said,
“The first indication we received that there is a threat to Falkirk Library came with the publication of the latest report for a new council headquarters. We have been presented with a report that has detailed figures for closure and relocation that would appear to give the indication this is being treated seriously by the Administration.
Given that Falkirk Library belongs to the people of Falkirk and we are the democratically elected representatives of the people this is a worrying situation.”
“Labour claim these are the views of the Falkirk Community Trust but this is a body they established and they determined will meet behind closed doors and so they must take full responsibility for.”
“Public Libraries were set up to assist working class people achieve as good an education as possible and so it is no surprise that Labour and the Tories are jointly seeking to undermine the concept for relocation to Middlefield will be disastrous for vulnerable people. “
Many unemployed people from the west of the district in particular sign on with the DWP then attend the library to use the computers to search for jobs. Making the library inaccessible not only makes it more difficult for people to find work but also increasing the threat of sanctions imposed by the DWP.”
“I can assure the Labour and Tory Administration that we will not sit back and take such a betrayal of the people of Falkirk district lightly and will campaign vigorously for the retention of the existing Falkirk Library.”