CAMPAIGNERS took their fight to save Swindon’s libraries to London on Saturday where they joined thousands of fellow activists for a national demonstration against the proposed cuts.

The group, set up earlier this year, saw around 20 members make their way to the capital for the rally which they hope will make more people aware that one of the town’s most valued services could be cut.

Sarah Church, chairman of Save Swindon’s Libraries campaign said: “We want to make a point nationally about a local problem.

“Central government needs to take notice of it and they need to think about what problems the closure would have on communities.

“Lord Bird made an excellent point during a debate at the end of last month when he was talking about issues in society that stem from one another and he mentioned how libraries affect literacy rates and so its closure will impact on that as well as other things like employment rates and crime. I think that truly shows the impact.

“I understand that the council can’t run on a deficit but there needs to be a national government response.”

Swindon Borough Council is proposing to withdraw funding and support for all but four of the town’s 15 libraries from next year with a move towards volunteers running the service as opposed to paid staff.

Around 2,000 people joined the rally at the British Library, which ended at the National Gallery, but before the group set off, organisers were able to present prizes to the winners of their poetry and poster competition – with Sarah adding that it is both the young and old who will be the hardest hit from the service cuts.

“People who make use of the libraries are young people and they have taken the time and effort to show their appreciation to the library service by taking part in the competition,” the 37-year-old mum of three added.

“My eldest daughter gets through so many books in a week and my youngest daughter is three and it is tragic to think that she might not know what a library is in 10 years.

“Older people use the library service and it offers them a social interaction so by taking the library away you are losing another public space for them to go to.

“Libraries are part of the universal public service that people pay for to make this country a better place.”

For updates on Save Swindon's Libraries, check the campaign's Facebook and Twitter pages.