Children from the St Kessog’s section of the Balloch Schools Campus enjoying themselves in the now doomed Balloch Library which is set to be closed by West Dunbartonshire Council.
By Bill Heaney
Despite having more than enough money to keep it open, the Labour administration on West Dunbartonshire Council have voted unanimously to close Balloch Library allegedly to save £50,000 while having agreed to create a new library in Glencairn House on Dumbarton High Street at a cost of £7.2 million.
The library closure was first suggested by the SNP when they were in control of the council before Labour won the local government election two years ago. The contentious motion – moved by a Clydebank councillor in order to save face for Labour leader Martin Rooney at any forthcoming election – was passed at a meeting of the council in their Church Street headquarters.
A full report of that meeting appeared in The Democrat, but Cara Thomas, one of the mothers who made an impassioned plea to the elected members to keep the library open, says on West Dunbartonshire Against Austerity on Facebook that it has been taken down and is no longer accessible. We don’t know who did this, but our suspicions are that the Council are responsible for this, just as they are responsible for banning The Democrat from doing its democratic duty to report matters councillors would rather not see being made public. The Council – and I include the SNP members here – should think black, burning shame of themselves for this.
Seven of the Labour members who voted to shut the library, a vital community service in a deeply deprived area, were Cllrs Martin Rooney, Michelle McGinty, David McBride, Clare Steel, June McKay, Gurpreet Singh Johal and Hazel Sorrell.