We have had a Public Library in Hay since 1947 however, since 2016, it has been under threat of closure. First our Library was to be closed and the site sold. HOWLS (Hay On Wye Library Supporters) managed to ensure the Library was 'saved', and moved into its own building down on the new Primary School site. Job done, one would have thought, but no.
'Saved' was the operative word! At the start of 2019, Powys proposed cutting £200,000 from its Rural Library Service. A first step to closing all Rural Libraries. Now, 2020/21, they are proposing to cut £30,000 from essential central administration services - and in attacking the centre, year after year, (while increasing our rates by 14.5% in two years), our Council Cabinet will eventually cripple the entire Powys Library Service.
The 2019/20 'cut' would have meant firing our Librarians and turning our newly-built 'Library' into a room full of books! As it turned out, the local uproar was so great the Council’s ‘Cabinet’ lost the vote and was forced to back down. We will know what's on the cards for 2020/21 by the end of February.
Worse still, they are threatening to cut a further £250,000 in 2021/22, and on top of that £170,000 in 2022/23. And they somehow believe we will tolerate this! Perhaps the only solution will be the ballot box in 2022.
So the threat continues. We want to 'nip it' in the bud, partner with Powys and win five years of security for our library in Hay and its services.
In response to the 2019/2020 threat, HOWLS - with over 400 members from our Community - decided to set up a Community Interest Company to serve our interests: And Hay Public Library.org CIC was born - on May-day 2019.
We will keep you up to date on what is happening, and let you know in a timely manner what kind of help we may need to keep our Library open and expand it's reach.
We will be working as a Community, for our Community.
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