Wednesday, 29 September 2010

Petition closed - 1,340 residents sign to save Arbury Court library

The petition to save Arbury Library has now closed, but not before a whopping 1,340 people put their names to the statement, letting the decision-makers know just how strongly the community feels about its branch.

The text of the petition reads: “We, the undersigned, call upon Cambridgeshire County Council to firmly reject any suggestion to close Arbury Court Library, or to replace the existing professional service with a reduced service run by volunteers. We believe the huge social cost to the community would far outweigh the small financial gain to be made.”

John Marais, Acting Chairman of FOAL, addressed Cambridgeshire County Council's Cabinet yesterday (September 28) to put the case for protecting the branch – which had 40,391 visitors last year.

His statement said: “The 1,340 signatures on our petition indicate the strength of feeling in Arbury, King’s Hedges and Chesterton and our determination to protect Arbury Court Library from closure or any serious reduction to its services.

“We are pleased that council officers and members have said several times that they have no desire to close any libraries, but we remain anxious because that option is still on the table. There would be outrage if such a thing were put forward as a serious proposal.”

FOAL was set up in response to the ongoing library service review, but its long-term aims are to support the branch and help ensure its continued development.

Tomorrow (September 30), local NestlĂ© Award-winning children’s author and FOAL member Paul Shipton will present awards to children who took part in a summer reading scheme at the branch – demonstrating just one of the important roles the library plays in the community.

Friends group forms to protect branch library

(From August 17, 2010)

A new users’ group has been formed to support Cambridge’s Arbury Court Library, in the wake of a review of library services in the county – and more than 600 people have signed a petition to save the vital community facility.

The Friends Of Arbury Library group was officially created last week by residents who are concerned about plans that could see the branch closed or its service reduced.

Cambridgeshire County Council has launched a review of its library service as it attempts to slash £2.2m from its budget, with officials refusing to rule out the closure of community libraries.

The Friends group is campaigning to protect the Arbury Court branch, which had 40,391 visitors last year and is a much-needed resource for residents in the north of the city, many of whom find it difficult to travel into the centre to use the Central Library.

A petition against the plans has already been signed by more than 600 people. Anyone wanting to add their name to the petition can sign a copy at the Arbury Court library, or sign online at

Although the Friends group has been formed in response to the library service review, its long-term aims are to support the branch and help ensure its continued development within the community. Anyone wishing to find out more or get involved can contact the group by sending an email to: thefriendsofarburylibrary at gmail dot com.