I HAVE read and re-read the article about libraries (The Hunts Post, February 23) and have to confess that it leaves me with an uneasy impression that the closure of the Warboys library is a ‘done deal’, and any subsequent public consultation will kake not the slightest difference to the eventual outcome.
The article informs us that Cambridgeshire County Council officers conducted a review of library services, looking at “community and performance factors” and that Warboys scored low on performance and community need.
I assume that the review was carried out within the cloistered confines of Shire Hall, because I don't recall any consultation with library users during the process.
We are told the “low community need” are areas with “good access to services and little evidence of social deprivation”.
I cannot see how Ramsey and Warboys can be at opposite ends of this particular spectrum. At the moment, we share the same bus service to Huntingdon, St Ives and Peterborough. We both have social housing. We both have significant populations of elderly citizens. And we both have post offices, medical and dental clinics, chemists, shops etc.
In fact, Ramsey has services such as banking that Warboys lost years ago.
As far as library “performance” is concerned, I am unable to comment because I do not have access to the criteria used to determine it.
I do know, however, that our library has, over the past decade, suffered a steady decline in the range and literary quality of book stock available and suspect that this has been mirrored by a decline in the number of withdrawals made.
As far as the future is concerned, I forecast, based on the Somersham experience, a meaningless public consultation resulting in the closure of Warboys library, a CCC re-definition of the Ramsey “community” to include Warboys, and a 10-mile return journey to change my books. I may be proved wrong, but I doubt it.
C A GARDINER