Alliance representatives including South Belfast MLA Anna Lo, East Belfast MLA Chris Lyttle and local Councillor Michael Long attended an Open Day at Cregagh Library organised by Libraries NI to help promote the library which is currently facing a reduction in opening hours by a quarter, from 40 to 30 hours per week.
As part of Alliance’s “3 Steps to Help” campaign, the party has encouraged local people to use the library in leaflets delivered around the area, launched a petition to support the library continuing to open for the current number of hours as well as promoting the Open Day event in the community. In addition, Alliance representatives have met with Libraries NI Chief Executive Irene Knox to express their concerns and Cllr Carole Howard successful proposed that Castlereagh Council write to Libraries NI to oppose the cuts.
Anna Lo MLA said: “I was delighted to support this event in Cregagh Library as I want to see the library continue to open for the current 40 hours per week. I have raised the need to support Cregagh Library during a recent debate in the Assembly on the library issue.”
Cllr Michael Long added: “We know that the library provides a very valuable service in the local community and I remember the great benefits that I experienced as a child in being able to attend Cregagh Library on a regular basis. We have learnt that the library currently has 97000 activities per year and that if that number increased to 100000, or less than 4% in the next year, the library would be able to retain its current hours.”
Chris Lyttle MLA concluded: “We hope that events like the Open Day and our campaign will help to protect Cregagh Library and we hope to present our petition in support of the current hours being offered in the coming weeks and before final decisions are reached.”