Last weekend, the Labour Party candidates in Heathfield officially launched their campaign for a rebuilt Heathfield Library.
Campaigners were out on the doorstep with a petition calling on Richmond Council to invest in a dedicated library service for the area. Library users in parts of Heathfield are half an hour away from the nearest library in Whitton.
The candidates believe that the resumption of a dedicated library service will provide a much-needed community hub for young families and older people and help tackle a higher-than-average unemployment rate in the ward and the highest child poverty rate in the borough.
Speaking on behalf of the candidates, Craig Owen said:
“When the Lib Dems sold the former library site in 2008 and the subsequent Conservative administration elected to use the money to forgo a replacement and invest in libraries in the rest of the borough, they let down a lot of families and vulnerable people in Heathfield.
“By the Council’s own admission, library services are not just about providing books for lending – libraries provide computer and internet facilities and host community events for families and older people. The current temporary collection at Whitton Community Centre is unused and unfit for purpose.
“Heathfield lost a much-loved library and we campaigned against its closure back in 2011. We are again calling on the Council to rebuild a full, dedicated library service for the area so that Heathfield residents have a library to be proud of.”