Two quotes from Mayor Marvin Rees in response to questions from a Stoke Bishop Councillor:
Subject: Bristol’s Library Service
Q1. The Mayor’s Damascene conversion to becoming a supporter of Bristol‘s libraries is very welcome and a great relief to the many users of our local libraries. Will he give the people of Bristol his cast iron assurance that as long as he is Mayor no library in Bristol will close?
Q2. There is no branch library in my ward, so residents mainly use three neighbouring libraries - Sea Mills, Westbury and Henleaze. These are all very popular and well used. Will the Mayor promise to keep current opening hours for these specific libraries?
1. Despite Conservative attempts to decimate public services by passing budget reductions to local authorities. I am incredibly proud we have been able to keep ALL our libraries (and children’s centres) open despite your government's continued austerity programme. The guarantee I give you is that no library has closed under my administration, and they will continue to be funded as alternative models come forward.
2. There is no question that the current library model is outdated and unsustainable. The situation has to become financially sustainable and we need a model of libraries fit for the 21st century.
Leaving aside the political rhetoric from both sides, the message I take from this is "No changes until April 2020 but another round of upheavals soon after as the Council tries to save money for the 2020/21 and future budgets..."
So enjoy the present calm but please be ready to respond with vigour to any proposals in the New Year!