South Lanarkshire Leisure and Culture (SLLC) are running a two-week survey on closing Cambuslang & Halfway libraries and three community centres, part of a huge programme of cuts to leisure & community services in Cambuslang and Rutherglen, as well as elsewhere in the local authority area.
Although the survey refers to ‘potential withdrawal from some facilities’, we have had it confirmed that SLLC are planning to close Cambuslang Library, Halfway Library, Eastfield Community Centre, North Halfway Hall, and Peter Brownlee (including pitches).
While not part of the SLLC consultation, SLLC are also planning cuts in services at the Cambuslang Institute, Cathkin Community Wing, Eastfield Lifestyles, Rutherglen Library, Rutherglen Town Hall, Fernhill Community Centre, Newton Farm Community Wing, Stonelaw Leisure, Fernhill Community Centre and Springhall Library.
We are seriously concerned at the impact on our community. Book-lending at Cambuslang Library has doubled over the past year. But it’s not just book-lending that the Library provides: the Library is a hub for information, computer & copy services. Over a dozen groups, including many children’s groups and school classes, meet there regularly.
We understand that the closures may happen as soon as April; library staff have been told they will be redeployed. We are appalled at the lack of consultation on alternatives. Cambuslang is now the THIRD largest town in South Lanarkshire after Hamilton & East Kilbride with the huge expansion of housing in the town. Our libraries and community centres matter. Many date back their origins over a century, and they are an essential part of the community infrastructure.
If our community and voluntary groups are to survive, they need places where they can meet and work. Many of them will need to pick up the gaps left through cuts in Council services, especially for the young, elderly, disabled and those with vulnerabilities.
Together with other community groups in Cambuslang and Rutherglen Community Planning Partnership, we have written to South Lanarkshire Council Leader Joe Fagan to say that taking decisions without engaging communities on precious libraries and community centres is the opposite of SLC’s much-proclaimed ‘community empowerment’.
You can read our letter to Council Leader Joe Fagan here
South Lanarkshire Council and South Lanarkshire Leisure need to work us and other community groups to mitigate the cuts. We need to find ways to preserve our Library and centres that have been part of our community for over one hundred years.
If this matters to you, please start by completing the SLLC survey here and make clear the value you place on our libraries and centres. Follow us here, on Twitter (X) or on Facebook