Definitely NO plans to close libraries, insists council

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THERE are no plans to close libraries – that’s the catagoric assurance from East Dunbartonshire Council.

Chief executive Gerry Cornes made the announcement following speculation that libraries in Lenzie and Milton of Campsie were under threat.

In a statement to the Herald, Mr Cornes said: “There are categorically no council proposals to close any libraries.

“In fact, our plans to develop community hubs in our town centres are designed to protect valuable front line services like libraries.”

Local libraries are run by East Dunbartonshire Leisure and Culture Trust on behalf of the council.

The trust’s general manager, Mark Grant, told the Herald that the rumours had “no basis in fact”.

However, SNP councillor Gillian Renwick and the Scottish Libraries and Information Council (SLIC) say they have been approached by library staff who are concerned about the situation.

And MSP Fiona McLeod, convener of SLIC, is taking the matter up with chief executive Gerry Cornes.

She said: “As convener of the Scottish Libraries and Information Council, I have been given representations made to SLIC by very concerned East Dunbartonshire library staff about moves to close Lenzie, Milton of Campsie and Bearsden libraries by the leisure trust. It is imperative that library services are maintained as locally as possible to ensure everyone has access to books, information and the internet, as well as CDs, DVDs, newspapers and historical records.

“I am disturbed that rumours are going around which put people’s jobs on the line, and the public will be worried about losing a local life line.

“I have written to East Dunbartonshire Council chief executive Gerry Cornes to get some answers and reassurances that local library services will be maintained.”

Councillor Gillian Renwick said: “We need to keep these libraries, I can’t bare to think about what would happen if we lost them.”

She added: “What I’m hearing from council and library staff is that they have been told these libraries are under threat and they are going to be closed.

“It would be a blow for these communities to lose something so important.”

Mark Grant, general manager of East Dunbartonshire Leisure and Culture Trust, said: “These rumours have no basis in fact and are unnecessarily unsettling and upsetting for employees.

“Apart from the transition phase to the new Kirkintilloch hub, which will involve a period of disruption, all services will continue as normal.”

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