1 We fear that if this interim service is not provided the library will be earmarked for closure in the immediate future.Kent County Council have already announced that they may be facing the biggest spending cut in 10 years and that there may be "difficult decisions" to make regarding the services they provide. The closure of Paddock Wood library would have an dreadful impact on the community. Paddock Wood is relied upon by all the surrounding villages and settlement for essential services and with plans under way for a doubling of the population in addition to the increase from current developments a library is an essential service.
2 Our library is a lifeline for many of our older and/or isolated residents for whom reading is one of the few leisure activities they can still enjoy during the current pandemic.
3 Our library is an invaluable resource for parents and carers who have children who are learning to read, completing their homework or reading for leisure. The expense of buying new books is often prohibitive, accessing second hand books is difficult when our local charity shops are closed and parents/carers might prefer for their children to be reading paper books rather than electronic versions due to the additional screen time that requires.
4 Our next closest library is about 7 miles away, further for residents in the villages to the South, and encourages people to leave the immediate area to travel by car. An off peak return train journey costs £5 which can be beyond the resources of poorer people, young families and people on a pension in these times.
5 Our library provides essential services to our community which residents would suffer without so we need to keep the library functioning for future community resilience. With all government and local authority services moving online whole sections of society who do to have the ability to use these without the assistance that the librarians provide will be excluded from these service. Many of the most vulnerable people do not have access at home to the internet.
6 27 other libraries across Kent have remained open throughout the pandemic so it is clear that the select and collect service is deemed to be Covid-safe.
7 In addition to the pandemic guidelines, environmental factors will also impact the necessity for small towns to become more self sufficient in the future so provision of essential services should be considered differently for local hub settlements.
Please sign this petition to ask Kent County Council to start a select and collect service at Paddock Wood Library before it is deemed unnecessary and closed permanently to save the council money.
This ePetition runs from 31/03/2021 to 30/04/2021.
93 people have signed this ePetition.