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Maskey opposes the withdrawal of library services from the Andersonstown area

8 June, 2010

Sinn Féin west Belfast MLA Paul Maskey today met with Irene Knox, Chief Executive of Libraries NI, to discuss their decision to close the Andersonstown Library in Slievegallion Drive.

With the closure threatened for the end of this month Paul has urged Libraries NI to reverse their decision and to ensure that suitable library services are provided in the Andersonstown area.

Paul said:

‘’Nobody could deny the bad state of repair that Andersonstown Library has fallen into due to years of under investment, however the many users of this library should not have to pay the price for this.

Last year over 30,000 people visited this branch and to remove this service from the area without having an alternative service in place would be a big mistake. I have called on Libraries NI to ensure that the closure of this building does not mean the withdrawing of a much needed library service in the Andersonstown area.

Unfortunately Ms Knox could not guarantee that the library will not close at the end of this month, but she has assured me she will take the request into consideration.  I have outlined my commitment to help Libraries NI in any way I can in their efforts to provide an appropriate service in this area and have today been in contact with a number of local community organisations with a view to doing this.’’

During the meeting Paul also outlined his disappointment that many of the written and verbal submissions do not appear to have been taken into consideration in the consultation report and it looks to many like the consultation was purely a paper exercise.

Paul added:

‘’I would like to assure all Andersonstown residents that we as a party will continue to oppose the closure of this library and will continue fighting this case until there is adequate library provision secured for the Andersonstown area’’ ENDS

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