CAMPAIGNERS petitioning to save Park Library are urging decision makers to listen to their concerns at this week’s council meeting.

Current proposals would see the Cavendish Square facility closed by the middle of next year unless the community can come up with a way of securing the funds to run, stock and staff it.

A petition, launched by the Parks and East Walcot Community Forum, is calling on the council to amend their decision and has topped 1,000 signatures.

The council’s strategy, which is currently undergoing a formal public consultation, could see 15 of the town’s 19 libraries close their doors.

Only Central Library, West Swindon, North Swindon and Highworth will escape the axe however the latter three will see significant reductions in opening times.

The petition calls for the council to include Park Library in the core provision of the new library service.

Martin Wicks, secretary of the Parks & East Walcot Community Forum wants to have the opportunity to take residents’ concerns to the floor at the next Swindon Borough Council meeting.

“Park Library is an important community hub in an area which has seen the loss of local social provision over the last 10 years, such as the children’s centre and the Parks advice point. It is an exceptional and very special service in the community for local people. If it wasn’t there it would be a terrible loss.

“Swindon Council has refused to table Parks and East Walcot Community Forum’s petition for discussion at the November council meeting,

“We gave a copy of our petition into the libraries consultation with our submission but now we have been told this means it can’t be discussed at the meeting and is a ‘consultation petition.

“ We have been told that a discussion at the full council meeting will be premature because “the proposals for the future library service are still being worked on”.

“We have been told that because we handed in a copy to the consultation it is deemed to be ‘a consultation petition’. So it will have to go forward to the Cabinet meeting where a decision on the Libraries will be taken in December.

“This is a catch 22 situation because either way we wouldn’t have been able to discuss the petition. At this council meeting we can speak but not with the same rights.

“Not everyone in the Parks Community has access to internet to do schoolwork or to hunt for jobs and so it really is a lifeline

“We just want the topic to be discussed with the full council in attendance so we can get our point across and stop any confusion

A Swindon Borough Council spokesman said: “We have added Mr Wicks’ petition to the many responses we received as part of the libraries consultation. These are currently being analysed and will help inform councillors before a final decision is made on the future of the library service at next month’s Cabinet meeting.”