Community news for Bitterne Park and nearby areas since 2005

You are Here: Home News Cuts to Cobbett Library hours proposed
16 January 2018
"Just thought I'd take the time to congratulate you on a  very interesting & informative website! I intended to just glimpse at it & was still reading half an hour later! THANK YOU!"
Caroline Russell, Dimond Road

Send your comment about the site


Get free updates straight to your inbox! Sign up below for our weekly(ish) email digest, and don't miss a thing! You can unsubscribe at any time.

Cuts to Cobbett Library hours proposed PDF Print E-mail
Wednesday, 24 October 2007 07:13
ImageCobbett Road Library, which was saved from closure in February, is facing a possible reduction in opening hours of around a third under the Conservative’s draft budget proposals, out for public consultation until December 21.

A 9.5-hour cut in opening times is under consideration at Cobbett Road, as well as at libraries in Burgess Road, Woolston, Thornhill and Weston. Currently Cobbett Road is only open on Mondays (9.5 hrs), Wednesdays (7 hrs), Fridays (9.5 hrs) and Saturday mornings (3.5 hrs).

Final proposals will be drawn up as a result of the consultation process, and cabinet members say they are keen to listen to new ideas and to receive feedback to help them with their process.

Fit for the 21st century
The Conservative’s Culture & Leisure spokesman Cllr John Hannides said: "We are committed to providing a library service fit for the 21st century. Our current provision was largely designed over 80 years ago and we need to engage with our customers to identify how we can best improve this vital service. Pressure has been building in recent years to close the Cobbett Road Library and the new Conservative administration has resisted this. Rationalisation of opening hours is a reflection of the very tight budgetary constraints across the board and we took the view that we would prefer to sustain the Library provision in the City, albeit with slightly reduced hours, rather than be compelled to seek closures."

Council cabinet papers say library hours will be reviewed and reductions targeted at quieter times in consultation with library users.

Closure by stealth
But Cobbett library user Rachel Hickman, who was involved with the campaign to save the facility earlier in the year, said: “It seems to be the next attempt to put nails in the coffin of Cobbett Library, and the library service as a whole. Instead of straight forward threats of closure it is closure by stealth.”

Campaigners have said that Cobbett Road Library offers services much in demand - annual issue figures showed Cobbett had the largest increase in the city for 2006/07. It is located in an area some distance from other library facilities, and the meeting room at the Library is used throughout the week by a range of community groups: similar resources are thin on the ground elsewhere in the ward.

Friends of Cobbett Road Library, a group set up following the campaign to keep the Library open in February, meet on Saturday October 27 at 11am at the Library, where the proposal is expected to be high on the agenda.

Feedback on the proposals can be This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it between October 30 and December 21, or posted to:

Budget Feedback
Southampton City Council
Civic Centre
SO14 7DL

Members of staff at the Library can also forward written comments to the postal address.


Link to the Echo's report (Friday 26)

City chiefs plan huge cutbacks to rein in council tax 
- Echo

Council axe to fall on swimming scheme used by 5,000 children - Echo

You can read the budget proposal from links starting here:

Specific information about libraries is in this appendix, downloadable as a PDF.



0 #1 Tony 2007-10-24 16:05
Elsewhere on this site you can see Councillor Peter Baillie taking credit for saving Cobbett Road library from closure. Of course, that was when the Lib Dems were in charge and threatened to close it. Now it's his Conservative group threatening closure by stealth. What's the point in having a library that, while officially open, is closed for most of the time so that its users disappear and justify full closure soon after?
Report to administrator
0 #2 Graham 2007-10-27 15:36
Our elected city councillors need to save, but not as we would like to believe the services and facilities to improve the quality of life for the electorate. We should however be grateful that our city is now being managed by professional politicians, who receive a good reward (well they decide the value of their own worth and vote to pay them-selves accordingly) I have every confidence the facility is not abused. Also to make certain us citizens get the very best services; the day to day management of so many aspects to include education and social services has been handed over to private companies to operate. So you see extra money is needed to satisfy the financial needs of all these extra fingers in the pie we hear alluded to as the city coffers?

Progress…gett ing up to speed…moving with the times, are some of the lines used to justify what we are told is necessary changes to the way our city is being run in our very best interest we are told.

Just imagine what it would be like should our city not be managed on our behalf by OUR choice of elected professional party politicians? To contemplate having our city managed by riffraff the like of part-time councillors, the sort we had in the past, pub landlords, retired teachers and even the treacherous small business man. Standing as ratepayers, independents and the like, not so much interested in the money but silly people who cared, and had compassion for the city and the people. These do good amateurs failed us by not putting up the rates we pay…as they do today, increasing them up by leaps and bounds, no instead they made do only providing the services the money could reach to. Wasting money on silly things like, park attendants in city parks, good local schools with sports facilities, subsidising well balanced school dinners, even providing the same lunch facility under the Civic Centre for all citizens. Not to mention a good and affordable bus service, ample public toilet facilities that had attendants who cleaned regularly, public swimming baths one open air, a quality library service that met the needs of the people. Refuge collection was never a problem, but road sweepers who took pride in there area and having drains cleaned on a regular basis was a bit much. But most wasteful of all was maintaining and supporting a thing called community, not good as this community idea is risky, well the people in the community might join forces and speak with one voice!

For goodness sake be modern, who ever truly wishes to live in a safe and clean environment, benefiting from well-maintained local facilities and services provided by the council funded from the rates we pay. Far more exciting to have arrived and able to live in the world of the Clockwork Orange, when to avoid getting kicked to death by gangs of teenagers provides a daily feeling of personal achievement, don’t you think.
Report to administrator
0 #3 beechbooks 2007-10-29 08:22
It is quite evident that the council will close the library and by allowing the building to fall into disrepair that will soon give them the excuse. The rotting window frames have been in that state for some years and if that is 100% visible and obvious so what's going on in the structures that we can't see? Hopefully our local councillors will ensure that repairs are carried out instead of leaving it in its current state.
Report to administrator
0 #4 mikeh 2007-10-31 10:39
So this "vital service" can be made "fit for the 21st century" and even "improved" by having branches which open less and less ;-)

Report to administrator
0 #5 Graham 2007-10-31 13:36
Today’s announcement by our trusted civic leaders that Bus services are to be cut, also concessions for children and pensioners are to be reduced. Could the overall plan be to do away with a public library service completely? Close local amenities while making it ever more difficult to travel to central facilities, soon followed by using the argument of suggesting it is not supported sufficiently to be considered a viable service, then bang and before you know it is gone. Time it right and as the police vacate to the new buildings, ah yes close the central library and wow an ideal site for Tesco. With a special checkout designed to collect rates and parking fines, not forgetting the penalties we will be forced to pay should we be overzealous when filling our bins.
Report to administrator

Please log in to post comments. If you don't yet have an account, it's quick to register here

support us 120px

rss colour light grey open source 32pxtwitter-32facebook-32

Possibly Related